Downtown Holiday Markets: Anti Black Fridays

Originally published on November 28, 2014 (Rivard Report)

Local, handmade jewelry for sale at Joyarte during the 2013 OPEN pop-up shop on Houston Street. Credit Page Graham.

There’s no reason to dread holiday shopping – well, okay, you’ve many reason to dread holiday shopping: the crowds, the lines, and the traffic.

In San Antonio, there is no reason to put up with all that. Instead of spending your holiday dollars gambling on gifts that are likely to carry a gift receipt, why not focus on a gift that is local, unique, and exclusively tailored to the person receiving it? Why feel rushed and crowded?

Try the holiday markets, community programs, and affordable workshops in San Antonio that transform the holiday shopping dread into a massive learning event for the whole family to enjoy.


Guadalupe Cultural Arts’ Hecho a Mano Festival

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) will hold its 28th-annual Hecho a Mano Festival beginning on Dec. 5. The festival is a three-day shopping extravaganza focusing on fine art and handmade artisan items that use traditional and contemporary themes.

“The beautiful thing about Hecho a Mano is that every dollar spent supports the arts,” GCAC Visual Arts Director Haydee Munoz said in a press release. “65% of all sales benefit the artists directly, and 35% help the Guadalupe continue to fulfill its mission.”

Shoppers browse during the Hecho a Mano Festival at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Courtesy photo.


The sheer volume of participating artists is impressive. More than 35 artists are on the scene, include Cruz Ortiz, Juan De Dios Mora, Sarah Castillo, and Benjamin Ortiz, just to name a few. The event will be held from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec.5, at the Museo Guadalupe (723 S. Brazos), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7.

The admission price for the weekend dates is $2, or two canned food items. All canned food items will be donated to the Inner City Development Food Bank. A special reception will precede the festival on Friday, Dec. 5. The admission to the preview ceremony is $10, which includes food, drinks, live music, and door prizes. Arturo Almeida, the curator of the University of Texas at San Antonio art collection, is slated to host the preview reception.

OPEN: Downtown Pop-up Shops

Another holiday market being offered this year is an initiative between property owners, retailers, small businesses, local entrepreneurs, and the city’s Center City Development and Operations Department (CCDO).