It’s finally here: the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Stumped on what to give Uncle Joe? He probably doesn’t want just another gift from a big box national chain. If I know Uncle Joe, and I think I do, he’d likely appreciate gifts he might not expect, unique gifts that say, “Hey Joe, I thought about this one, man.”
So, we’ve got you covered in the city. The Market Square Holiday Market winds up on Market Street, just off Market Square this weekend. Handmade and unique is what they do, so you will be pleased with what you see. They are open from 1:00 – 7:00. To seem more photos of the types of merchants present, go here.
There are also small “shops” like the trunk show pictured here (where Marble Slab used to be) popping up all around giving another shot of the unexpected. Just inside 31 Market Square is such a “shop” which includes items purchased around the world by Emily Dewhirst, which she offering for sale. You won’t find this sort of thing in a kiosk in the mall! She calls it “Petit Nomad.”
Of course that display store is just inside River Sports Outfitters, one of the newest stores downtown, in the space it plans to occupy until August. Judging from the business they’ve been doing when I’ve been in there, I wouldn’t be surprised to find them locating another spot downtown for a permanent home. You can see more photos of this store here.
There are a number of other stores new to downtown since last Christmas, including Nothing Too Fancy (see here and here) and The Tree and Vine (here). I’ve visited both places to fill my Christmas lists and I’ve spent approximately a fortune at the later. Nothing Too Fancy has great gifts for men, particularly (Can you say “The Dude” t-shirts?) including some of the best Knoxville-related shirts to be found. The Tree and Vine has olive oils, balsamic vinegar and an assortment of kitchen supplies perfect for stockings or major gifts. They’ve also filled some small gift bags and baskets just for your convenience.
Union Avenue Books, just down the street has been hopping this season, as well. I loaded up on stocking stuffers like bookmarks, magnets and note-pads. In the picture you see a recent in-store performance by Yuns and this weekend will feature a performance by Red Haired Mary. You don’t get that just anywhere.
Of course, I haven’t mentioned the art galleries such as the Art Market and RALA, gift shops like Rococo (which is also new this year at 2 Market Square), Bliss, Bliss Home, Fizz, Earth to Old City and on it goes. Of course, Mast General Store is the stalwart on Gay Street. Through in the fact that you can ice skate while you are at it, check out the new art in Strong Alley (between Market Square and Gay Street) and have about twenty-eleven restaurants to pick from when its time to eat and the fact that you can easily park at no cost and walk everywhere you go and you get not just a shopping experience, but a holiday memory. See you out and about.