POSTED: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 4:55pm
UPDATED: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 5:05pm
EL PASO- A magical holiday shopping experience awaits you at the El Paso Convention Center this weekend.
The Junior League of El Paso's yearly Christmas fair is back again, this time with The Nutcracker as its theme. And members have spent the week getting the Convention Center ready for their biggest fundraiser of the year.
A cozy scene from the timeless classic ballet "The Nutcracker", along with nutcracker-themed trees, greet guests in the lobby of the El Paso Convention Center for this year's Christmas fair.
"There’s trees like the clock tree. There's the ballerina tree and the snow tree. Where Santa will be this year is the Land of Sweets, which is all based out on the candy out of The Nutcracker,” said Junior League Christmas Fair Chair Taryn Hunt.
Decorating those trees and getting the Convention Center ready from top to bottom has become the main task of the more than 200 Junior League members who plan the Christmas fair year-round.
"The Christmas fair is completely staffed by Junior League members and so we don't hire anybody from outside. All the garland, all the lights that are wrapped up, all the trees and all the decorations that are put up are done by junior league volunteers,” said Junior League President Chantel Crews Ancell.
And while the ladies decorate, about 250 vendors are been busy bustling to get their booths ready. "There are all kinds of merchandise from food to clothes to Christmas decorations, toys, books,” said Taryn.
The event is the Junior League's biggest fundraiser of the year with 100% of the proceeds going towards their six community projects. "We have projects specifically geared for children. Projects specifically geared for young women and teenagers and projects specifically geared towards family and the elderly," said Chantel.
Besides helping out the community and getting your shopping done, there are many other things to do.
There are raffles for a number of prizes and there's also something called "Pick-a-Package". "They get to pick whichever package they want and it's a mystery inside the box but it's something fun and exciting," said Taryn.
There's plenty for the little ones as well. "Children’s Party Club North" lets kids enjoy arts and crafts and they can also visit Santa in the Land of Sweets. "Your children can have milk and cookies and get a story read by Santa. There's also photos with Santa and you can get a disk and different poses with Santa," said Taryn.
And just like The Nutcracker, organizers say they expect the Christmas Fair to be a beautiful, memorable and magical experience. "It’s really exciting and I’m glad it's finally here and these women have worked so, so hard. So for us to see what they've been working towards is very special," said Taryn.
"A Christmas Fair" will be held at the convention center starting tomorrow. Preview shopping goes from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. if you want to avoid the crowds. The cost is $20. Friday and Saturday doors are open from 10:00a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $7.00 for children, seniors and military and $8.00 for adults.
For more information, visit www.JLEP.org  or call Junior League headquarters at 584-3511