Best Bet for LAST MINUTE gifts in Austin
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

You're reading this because:

1. Someone has a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife you knew nothing about until today and they are showing up at the holiday celebration in 4 hours.

2. Your boss got you a gift. You did not get your boss a gift.

3. Your boyfriend got you a gift. You did not get your boyfriend a gift.

4. What's the big deal, you ask? You always shop on Christmas Eve!

5. It's 80 degrees in the metroplex. WTH? Christmas shopping??

6. You got paid today.

7. You're an adrenaline junkie. You thrive on this last minute stuff, you nut.

8. You bought every gift for everyone plus a few for unexpected surprises and you completed that task in July. You came here to make fun of the rest of us.

I'm not judging. Okay, number 8, I'm sorta judging you but otherwise, I'm with you people! I've been every one of those! And for the last 18 years, give or take a holiday or 2, I've been rescued, with the added benefit of liquor and live music, by the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.

The Bazaar, now in its 40th year, holds a special place in my heart. Upon my first Christmas in Austin, when I was a little homesick for the place and people I'd left behind, a new friend introduced me to the wonder of the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, then held at the Austin Music Hall where I would also see Pantera (because I would do ANYTHING to get out of the house), Ratdog, Lenny Kravitz, and more just that year. But I digress.

The Bazaar! For only a few bucks and a little patience with a crowd, you could listen to LIVE MUSIC, SHOP, SNACK and IMBIBE, all in one safe, festive place. It was a darn Christmas miracle, I tell you! The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar was a bright spot in my first Christmas in Austin, and it saved my holiday spirit, the same as it's gone and done this year. Thank you, Armadillo.

This year, I had the 23rd circled weeks ahead, for 2 sets by South Austin-based Uncle Lucius. They were fantastic-- set the perfect mood for a truly Austin-like Christmas. With elements of rock, folk, blues, and country, and 4 massively talented members, Uncle Lucius' strongest suit is writing lyrics that touch the common experience of all. Another example of sitting in an intimate set in Austin, listening to musicians you know might have/will be playing to crowds 50 times that size. They just wrapped up a residency at the Continental Club, and I highly recommend searching them out for a live show. Today you'll hear local favorites Albert and Gage at 11, (Ernie)Durawa at 3, and Bill Kirchen at 7pm. Not too shabby, huh?

December 15 – 24 • New Hours! 10am – 10pm  daily • Palmer Events Center

(Austin, TX) — Hot music, fine art and cold beer have made the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place where Austin shops in the giving season. The show is one of Austin’s longest running art and music festivals with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from more than 160 artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar. It all adds up to a fun authentic Austin experience.
The 10-day shopping destination and annual tradition for Austinites, celebrates 40 seasons of music and fine art December 15-24, from 10am to 10pm daily at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas 78704.
The Armadillo makes holiday shopping fun in a comfortable, upbeat environment with a dazzling selection of one of a kind, hard to find, fine art and artisan crafts; from collectible pieces to modestly priced stocking stuffers, from stylishly smart to joyfully weird. Over 160 locally and nationally acclaimed artists exhibit their best works, including nearly two-dozen carefully curated newcomers this year. The Armadillo offers art for your home, perfect gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list in every price range, and anything you can imagine that will fit underneath your Christmas tree. A photo gallery of their work is available at
At least three bands per day perform on the Armadillo stage, with a star-studded music lineup that reads like a who’s who of Texas music. The 31 performances range from new and emerging stars to local legends, as well as Grammy winners. Armadillo’s intimate stage allows you to experience big Texas musicians in a cozy holiday setting. This year features new musicians such as John Fullbright and Gina Chavez as well as returning local icons Ray Wylie Hubbard, Asleep at the Wheel and Ruthie Foster.
Armadillo producers, Bruce Willenzik, Annie Harding and Anne Johnson are thrilled about the 40th season and look forward to honoring artists, musicians, friends and iconic independent local businesses that made significant contributions toward building Austin’s attractive cultural identity. Willenzik says: “We are grateful we’ve had the opportunity and support to go from our beginnings as a small special event at the the Armadillo World Headquarters to have grown into the significant event we are today.” Harding is “…excited to be taking a look back and paying homage to the decades of history, tradition and people that made the Armadillo an iconic Austin destination event.”
Producer Anne Johnson has spent every Christmas Eve of her life at the Armadillo. “It wouldn’t seem like Christmas to me without it,” she says. “…and that’s not unusual. What’s great about the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is that you have many families attending for decades now, yet it’s a perfect holiday shopping event for visitors and tourists as well. It is one of the few ‘old Austin’ traditions that has survived the influx of festivals and the city’s rapid growth – and remained strong. People really appreciate the culture and history,” she says. “Plus, everyone loves a good party. Our 40th milestone this year makes it even more exciting. We can’t wait.”
Tickets are $8 for a single-day pass; available at the door, or in advance online. For best value, purchase a season pass (for a limited time), which allows for entry throughout the duration of the show. Free admission for children 12 and under. More information at
Merry Christmas, y'all.

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