UTEP Gets Into Holiday Spirit With ‘A Christmas Fair’

By Lisa Y. Garibay

UTEP News Service

This weekend, UTEP joins more than 200 other merchants at the city’s annual pre-Christmas shopping extravaganza: A Christmas Fair, presented by the Junior League of El Paso, Inc. The fair runs from Nov. 1-3 at the Judson F. Williams Convention and Performing Arts Center downtown.

Live entertainment, photos with Santa, silent auctions, gourmet food tastings and giveaways will also take place throughout the fair, which is sure to attract thousands of attendees just as it has for the past 40 years.UTEP employees work hard to set up the University display for A Christmas Fair, taking place this weekend at the Downtown convention center. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News ServiceUTEP employees work hard to set up the University display for A Christmas Fair, taking place this weekend at the Downtown convention center. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

Look for UTEP at Booth 500; maps will be available at the convention center and signs hanging above the aisles will make it easy to navigate. Centennial Celebration Executive Director Keith Erekson, Ph.D., is particularly excited for the products specially produced to commemorate UTEP’s 100 years that will be put in front of so many members of the public during the fair.

“The Centennial keepsakes and food products have been created in the hope that every person will find a special way to join the Centennial Celebration,” he said. Shoppers will be able to get their hands on Centennial jewelry, salsa and dips, calendars and clothing to spread the UTEP spirit throughout the holiday season.

For the 40th anniversary of the fair, the League chose the theme of “The Magic of Christmas,” and UTEP will definitely be in the spirit with orange-and-blue bedecked Christmas trees, Centennial celebration garlands, and much more. Each visitor will receive a free UTEP Centennial tote bag.

Visitors to the UTEP booth will also have the opportunity to pre-order a special Centennial New Year’s Eve party kit, which includes party hats, horns, clappers and champagne glasses. The kit is presented by the UTEP Alumni Association to help everyone kick off the Centennial year on Jan. 1, 2014. Kits ordered at the Christmas fair will arrive in plenty of time for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The fair is the League’s primary fundraising event and has supported more than 100 worthwhile programs throughout its history. Trained Junior League volunteers staff the event, allowing the Junior League to maximize its financial contributions and help make El Paso a better place to live for all of its citizens. The league’s website estimates that 15,000 shoppers pass through during the weekend.

Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 for children, seniors and military, and are available at the Convention Center box office. Children under 6 receive free admission.

Visit UTEP and take in all the other sights, sounds and gift-buying opportunities of the fair from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Friday evening features a special concert by country music singer-songwriter Cory Morrow from 6 to 10 p.m.; tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the Convention Center box office.