What to do in Austin this week: Dec. 15-18

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, a live music festival and holiday shopping event taking place Dec. 16–24, will include more than 160 vendors and 28 bands at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road.

Executive Director Bruce Willenzik co-founded the event in 1976 while working at Armadillo World Headquarters. He continued the tradition after the iconic Austin business closed.

Willenzik said the show separates itself from other Austin seasonal art events because of its emphasis on prosperity for all the participating artists. The result is a family of artists who seek to consistently improve upon their work each year they participate, he said.

This year's show has the smallest artist turnover in four years, Willenzik said, meaning many of the favorites from last year will return to sell items such as jewelry, photography, home furnishings, leather goods, books, ceramics and apparel.

The event has been extended from eight to nine days this year after running for 13 days in 2012.

11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. Free (children age 12 and younger), $7 (adults). 512-477-1605. www.armadillobazaar.com


DEC. 17—The community is invited to a Senior Adults Chanukah Party, a Jewish holiday event that includes music, dreidel playing, menorah candle lighting, door prizes and a kosher luncheon. Reservations are required to attend and may be made by calling the Jewish Community Association of Austin. 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Free. Dell Jewish Community Center, 7300 Hart Lane. 512-735-8000. www.shalomaustin.org

DEC. 18—The inaugural fundraiser hosted by Dub Academy, a nonprofit DJ and music production school in East Austin, seeks to raise money to help host free classes for 500 teens in the upcoming year. Students and instructors will provide entertainment during the event, which includes a silent auction and other activities at the children's museum. Tickets are available here. 6–11 p.m. $25 (show, cocktails and silent auction), $200 (VIP valet, dinner and cocktails). The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. www.dubacademy.com

DEC. 18Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the progressive rock band known for its holiday performances, visits Austin as part of its 2014 winter tour. 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $57. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. 512-471-7744. www.trans-siberian.com/tour

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin regains all pandemic job loss, San Antonio nearly misses top 10 best performing metros in the country

The Austin and San Antonio metropolitan statistical areas continue their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of a plant store
Succulent Native opens new South Lamar shop and more South Austin business news

It is the second location for the local succulent and cactus purveyor.

Travis County sent a letter to TxDOT Sept. 21 asking it to explore more options for its I-35  design through downtown Austin. (Community Impact Staff)
Travis County says TxDOT I-35 proposals need ‘more work’ in letter to the state transportation agency

TxDOT said that taking down the highway’s upper decks from Airport Boulevard to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard necessitates property displacements.

APD interim Chief Joseph Chacon was named as Austin's next police chief Sept. 22, pending City Council confirmation. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chacon looks to police staffing, city violence, community relations following appointment as APD's next chief

Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon, a 23-year APD veteran, was tapped to be the department's next chief pending City Council confirmation.

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County approves fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate

The newly approved rate, paired with higher home appraisal rates, will result in an increase in taxes for many homeowners.

Photo of people attending ACL Fest
City of Austin approves ACL health and safety plan, holds off on final permit

Austin Public Health gave ACL the go-ahead to allow proof of vaccination in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, but asked organizers to require masking in some areas.

Hundreds of complaints were logged against the Austin Police Department last year related to protests against police brutality and systemic racism. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police oversight office challenges APD handling of most 2020 protest complaints

Austin's Office of Police Oversight objected to several aspects of the police department's approach to classifying and investigating protest-related grievances.

Q2 Stadium at night
Mixed-use development Verde Square to bring hotel, office space to site next to Q2 Stadium

Verde Square, a mixed-use development, is expected to break ground on construction by the end of 2022.

Photo of ACL Fest
Zilker Park closes in preparation for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Zilker Park closes in preparation for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin city staff and officials are pursuing additional protections related to mold issues in rental housing. (Courtesy city of Austin)
City pursuing improvements to handling of Austin renters' mold complaints

New recommendations from a report launched in the wake of Winter Storm Uri detail adjustments Austin could make to its mold response.