Held at the Lane Events Center (796 West 13th Ave., Eugene, OR), Eugene Holiday Market features hundreds of artisans with quality, hand-crafted items. Saturday/Sunday November 19-20 was opening weekend for the Holiday Market. I especially like the non-stop entertainment perfect for the season.
I appreciated the opportunity to be the opening act on the main stage on Sunday, Nov 20. I interspersed jazz standards with interactive kid's songs. Everyone seemed to enjoy the variety for all ages. I saw several folks singing, clapping, dancing along. A few young volunteers helped me out on "Strike the Bell" (accompanied by concertina) and "My Aunt Came Back" and "Sambalele." Also saw folks singing along with "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Call Me Irresponsible," and "I'm Confessin' That I Love You."
Then, The Celtic Tradition (Linda Danielson, Janet Naylor and I) took the stage for special Scottish/Irish Holiday shows at 11:30 am (Main Stage) and 2 pm (Holiday Hall). Assistant Market Manager Kim Still even caught us on video playing a Scandinavian waltz called "Bond Vals" (Farmer's Waltz), as well as "Shady Grove." The day's dress-up theme was "Hats, Ties & Tiaras," and Ms. Kim Still was decked out in a cute homemade dress and antique hat from the 1940s.
After us was Ghillie Dhu & The Dohun'ts (Jeremy Wegner, Chico Schwall, Hilary Jones) with some rousing reels and jigs for our dancing pleasure. I video'ed their set with "Pigeon on a Gate, Monahan Twig, and Jenny Dang the Weaver" and their closing set of jigs and hope you enjoy them.
Other acts appearing opening weekend were Eugene Bhangra Youth Group, Richard Crandell, Jerry Zybach & Adam Scramstad, Carolyn Cruso, Tatiamo, Gypsy Moon, Bow & Airo, Jill Ledet, Robert Meade, TheTraceys, Rusty Still, Dirty Dandelions, Gordon Kaswell and Lonesome Randall. WOW!
Food booths in the International Food Court always offer a large variety of delectable delights. I had a great steak burrito from Saritza's Mexican and a refreshing raspberry cooler from the Lemonade Gourmet. My wife had a tofu dish from Bangkok Grill. My bandmates enjoyed crepes from Edible Improv. Check out all the Holiday Market food choices here.
For the "I Spy Elves" Game, Market artisans created unique elves to be displayed in booths throughout the Market on Opening Weekend, November 19-20. People picked up an Elf spotter's card, then wandered the Market, and wrote down the booth number where each elf was seen. Those finding at least six elves were entered into a drawing to win one of the elves. Those locating 20 elves were entered into a grand prize drawing to win $100 in Holiday Market gift certificates! Check the website to see some elves that folks were looking for. There were also silly clues to help locate them. What a fun activity for families and kids of all ages!
All Holiday Market 2016 Dates include:
Sat.-Sun., Nov. 19-20; Fri.-Sun., Nov. 25-27; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 3-4; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 10-11; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 17-18; Thur.-Sat., Dec. 22-24. Hours are 10 am - 6 pm (but closing at 4 pm on Dec. 24)
For a complete artisan and entertainment schedule, see the Holiday Market webpages.
DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 5, take Exit 194-B to Eugene (I-105). Continue on I-105 until it ends at 7th Ave. Continue straight ahead on Jefferson to 13th Ave., continue on under the big electronic sign which is the entrance to the Fairgrounds. Holiday Market is in the Exhibit Hall, ahead on your right as the entrance drive curves into the Fairgrounds. Drive past the building via the driveway that passes its left side to the main parking lot and main building entrance. Parking & admission are free.