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Armadillo Christmas Bazaar opens with an Irish twist, courtesy of Ulla

Peter Blackstock
pblackstock@statesman.com
Traditional Irish music ensemble Ulla kicked off the 2019 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at Palmer Events Center on Friday, Dec. 13. [Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman]

An Austin tradition since the mid-1970s, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar kicked off its 12-day run of gift-shopping and live music at Palmer Events Center on Friday with a rousing noontime set by Ulla, a new Austin ensemble that focuses on traditional Irish music.

A good crowd turned out for the first appearance at the Bazaar by the six-piece group that features Ireland expats Andrea Magee, Pat Byrne and Stephen Carolan plus multi-instrumentalist Rich Brotherton, upright bassist Kris Wade and fiddler Stephan Paetzold. Their self-titled six-song debut recording was released last week.

Opening-day music continued with sets from Gina Chavez at 3 p.m. and Dale Watson at 7 p.m., with dozens of booths surrounding the stage featuring a wide variety of gift items for sale. The Bazaar continues daily through Dec. 24, with three musical performances each day; see the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar website for a full schedule. Admission is $10 daily.