Marfa Holiday Bazaar keeps winter wonder alive for local families 

Liliana Zubia and Belen Soto with Marfa ISD’s Ballet Folklorico perform last weekend in front of the county courthouse on Highland Street for the Marfa Holiday Bazaar. Photo by Cody Bjornson.

MARFA — This past weekend, the local community took part in seasonal activities at the Marfa Holiday Bazaar, a three-day Christmas festival put on by the Marfa Chamber of Commerce at the county courthouse, which included a tree lighting ceremony, vendors, performances and a pet parade. 

President of the Chamber Abby Boyd said the bazaar was a success, bringing in more vendors than the year prior as well as some unique first-time events, including a holiday lights parade, which drew sparse, but spirited, participation. 

“We’re so grateful for the people who decorated their cars. It was really meaningful to see,” said Boyd. “We look forward to even more next year.” 

At Friday night’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which helped kick off the weekend, Presidio County staff provided snacks, hot chocolate and stuffed animals, and the Marfa Children’s Choir performed holiday songs. 

“We had a lot of kids turn out, and of course they sang beautifully,” said Boyd. “It was super fun to light the tree with all of them there and get like a big scream out of all the kids when the lights came on.”

Emma Van Etten and Hadasa Salgado make their own felt ornaments with the help of the Chinati Foundation’s education team at the Marfa Holiday Bazaar this past weekend. Photo by Cody Bjornson.

On Saturday, vendors lined the courthouse lawn and The Grinch posed for photos with local children. The Chinati Foundation’s education team provided materials and instruction for felt and shrinky dink ornaments inside of the Marfa Volunteer Fire Station. 

Following a cheerful performance from the Big Bend Community Band, Santa rode in on a fire truck to greet and sit for photographs with Marfa citizens. 

“Everyone who sat on Santa’s lap, he said, was on the good list. It is confirmed,” said Boyd. “Most of Marfa, with a few notable exceptions, are on Santa’s good list.”

Many showed up to support local makers, artisans and business owners, with the chamber organizing around 50 vendors for the bazaar. Boyd said it was refreshing to see all of the local talent in the community and attendees supporting small businesses. 

“There were some people that I hadn’t met who make incredible things, some people that I have known for a long time that I didn’t realize made such special things,” said Boyd. “We just have such a creative community in every way, and their work deserves to be seen.” 

Marfa Junior High and High School Principal Luane Porter said the junior class raised $546 through their menudo sale at the holiday bazaar to go toward the annual prom. 

“This is a great opportunity for our students to be a presence in our community and to practice skills such as planning and organizing events, money management skills and working with the public,” said Porter. 

Porter said through both the choir and Ballet Folklorico performances the students were representing the school well in the community. “I am proud of our students when they are able to showcase their talents for our community,” she said. “We have talented students in a variety of areas, and I appreciate their enthusiasm to show off their Shorthorn spirit!” 

Boyd said musical sets by local favorites Primo y Beebe and Mariachi Santa Cruz were other highlights of the weekend. She also wishes to thank the Marfa Public Library, who held a bilingual storytime, the fire department, all of the volunteer elves that made the event possible, and Ballet Folklorico dancers, among others. 

Sunday’s pet parade, held in honor of the work of Big Bend Pets, was “the absolute snow cap on the wintry event,” said Boyd, with many telling her it was their favorite part of the weekend. 

The event was sponsored by the City of Marfa, PBFCM Attorneys at Law, Rule Gallery, Communitie, Viva Big Bend and The Marfa Store. The Marfa Holiday Lights competition is still underway, with the panel of judges to deliberate and choose a winning location this week. 

For more information, visit http://marfachamberofcommerce.org/marfa-holiday-bazaar-1 or follow @marfatxchamber on Instagram and Facebook.