It seems there’s been a collective, tacit agreement this year to start celebrating the holidays early, before Thanksgiving has arrived — Christmas trees are going up in living rooms and shopping malls everywhere.
One holiday tradition also coming early is Austin’s Blue Genie Art Bazaar. The longest-running of the local holiday shopping events, Blue Genie kicks off Friday, almost a whole week before Thanksgiving, and runs through Christmas Eve. As in previous years, the sprawling market features handmade gifts by more than 200 artists and vendors, all located under one roof with a full bar and a festive, family-friendly atmosphere.
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No doubt weekends will be busiest for Blue Genie, but the bazaar on Airport Boulevard hopes to draw you out on weekdays, too, with themed nights such as Make-a-Wish Mondays. Ten percent of profits each Monday will be donated to the organization — last year, more than $5,000 was given. Additionally, donation boxes for Make-A-Wish will be set up around the bazaar floor.
Blue Genie isn’t the only holiday shopping market that Austin offers. The Cherrywood Art Fair and Armadillo Christmas Bazaar are the two other big ones, but they won’t go live until December.
Starting Friday, Blue Genie opens daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 24 (when it’ll close early at 6 p.m. because, let’s face it, by then all holiday shopping should probably be wrapped up). Blue Genie is located at 6100 Airport Blvd., near the Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen. For more information, visit bluegenieartbazaar.com.