I finished my shopping this past weekend. As usual, I'm last minute. Fortunately, two Austin, TX gift and art bazaars run through December, so I was able to buy Texas made, unique handcrafted gifts.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar started this year on November 19 and runs through December 24, 2021. There's still time to go browse through over two hundred of local and nationally known artists' work for the perfect last-minute Christmas gift. You can also order online and either have it shipped or go by and pick it up.
That's what I did this year, and it was hassle free. You avoid the inevitable crowds this way, while still indulging in specialty gifts for family, friends, or yourself. They even offer a Blue Genie shopping service called "Ask a Genie!" Forms for online and to procure a shopping genie are available on the website.
The exhibitors range from specialty soap makers, to unusual jewelry, wood chopping boards, cheese boards, and salvaged wood home decor, to Texas memorabilia. The bazaar offers clothing, ceramics, fine art, sculpture, prints, photos, folk art and glass art.
Blue Genie Bazaar began in 2001 and this was their twentieth year. The website reports the history:
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar (BGAB) originated from our parent company, Blue Genie Art Industries (BGA), a nationally recognized creative firm specializing in large scale commercial fabrication of three dimensional objects, monuments, exhibits, themed environments, and artist services. BGAB is maintained by the original owners: Chris Coakley, Rory Skagen, Kevin Collins, and Dana Younger.
This year the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar was outdoors for the first time. It wrapped around the Palmer Center, and featured at least a hundred booths with everything from Texas honey to wood crafted bottle stoppers to eye-catching jewelry. What makes Armadillo Christmas Bazaar special and very much an Austin tradition is the music. I went on Sunday and listened to Shiny Ribs, an Austin Blues band famous nationally and internationally. The joy of being outdoors in sunny Austin weather listening to live music was nostalgic and fulfilling. Plus, I managed to nearly finish Christmas shopping.
Admission is $10 with tickets sold online. Parking is free and available in the Palmer Center parking garage.
While this event only runs for three days, and the last day was December 19, I encourage everyone to put it on their calendar for next year. Their website promises:
A true Austin experience, a fine art and music festival with over 100 local and nationally recognized artists, 2 live band performances daily, a full bar. Armadillo Bazaar Outside is a safe, family friendly fine-art scene, outdoors on the grounds of the Palmer Events Center.