Holiday shopping in crowded malls and superstores tends to give us a case of the “bah humbugs,” but awesome community events like the annual Cherrywood Art Fair provides a gift-buying experience that feels more like a party. Now in its 16th year, the Cherrywood Art Fair is one of our favorite places to find unique, handmade holiday gifts because it also gives us the chance to meet up with friends and enjoy live music, food trucks, and art activities for the kids. Plus, admission is free! This year’s Fair takes place on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10 at Maplewood Elementary School from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

— Artists: Find ceramics, pottery, fine art, home décor & organic beauty products, jewelry, goods for kids, photography, textiles and accessories from 90 artists at this fair. Check out the full line-up of artists.

Photo by Jennifer Ramos

— Food: Six local food vendors will be dishing up some delicious eats to fuel the crowds in between shopping and enjoying entertainment: Jack Hates Coffee, Mmmpanadas, Texas Chili Queens, Stoneys Pizza, Hat Creek Provisions, and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

— Family Fun: In addition to shopping some beautiful Texas-made treasures, there’s also a variety of things to enjoy, such as face painting, hair braiding, a hoop circle, ukulele jam sessions, an art corner and more.

Photo by Jennifer Ramos

— Music & Entertainment:
The music starts up at noon on Saturday with Jed Craddock, a San Antonio musician who blends elements of soul, rock, and R & B. He’ll be followed by Interrobang Brass, an 8-piece brass band out of the University of Texas. Headliners this year include Austin-based browngrass band Sour Bridges and a White Ghost Shivers side project country band The Saddle Sores. School of Rock will wrap up the day, taking the stage at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, the center stage will kick off the day with performances by TKO Puppeteers, a fun-filled storytelling adventure with audience participation and Safari Animal Magic, which brings live exotic animals like an African tortoise, a South American giant tegu lizard, and an Australian bearded dragon. Next up, Inside Out Steelband will share the sounds of Trinidad, Rose Movement Studio will show off their belly dancing skills and dancers from Flamencura Dance Studio will wrap up the day with a fiery and passionate display of flamenco.

Click here to find the music and activity schedule for both Saturday & Sunday.

Enjoy plenty of live entertainment! Photo by Jennifer Ramos.

— Giving Back: In addition to promoting local artisans, money raised by the Cherrywood Art Fair goes supports the mission and purpose of Chula League, the non-profit producer of the Fair. One of the biggest and best-regarded beneficiaries of the Fair is Chula League’s Little Artist BIG ARTIST program. This is a mentoring program that pairs professional artists with students from East Austin elementary schools.

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Photo by Jennifer M. Ramos

For many more details, you can check out this FAQs page on the Cherrywood Art Fair website.

See you there!