Merry Marketplace kicks off and impacts community

ODESSA -- The Junior League of Odessa’s 36th annual Merry Marketplace is in full swing, offering hundreds of gift options for holiday shoppers while benefiting the community.

The theme of this year’s Merry Marketplace is, “A Cozy Christmas.” The shopping event is held at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa and runs Thursday through Sunday.

General admission tickets for shopping are $10 per day, and can be purchased on the Junior League of Odessa’s website. Seats at special events, like Breakfast with Santa and Ladies Champagne Brunch, can be purchased for an additional cost.

Odessa native Irene Sanchez said the event puts her in the holiday spirit.

“It really, really helps me get a lot of my Christmas shopping done,” she said.

The booths offer everything from clothing, jewelry, home décor, monogramming, and even food products.

Junior League of Odessa member and Odessa Public Information Officer, Andrea Goodson, said money made from ticket sales is redistributed in the community through assistance funds and projects.

The Junior League’s projects include bringing art instruction back into schools, and mentoring children.

“One of our community projects, are Kids in the Kitchen, which is a project with the West Texas Food Bank. And we go in and teach elementary age children how to have a healthy lifestyle, how to eat healthy, how to make an afterschool snack,” she said.

The marketplace benefits the community. And behind the scenes, in the booths, small businesses are impacted too.

Lynda Sharp is the owner of Wild Ones Boutique & Gifts in Abilene. Sharp said she’s attended Merry Marketplace for seven years, and appreciates Odessa residents.

“We love to meet new people, and increase our customer base. This is my best show of the year that I do. And I go to New Mexico, Las Vegas, all over. But here in Texas, in Odessa, Texas, they’ve been very good to me and I’ll continue to come,” she said.

General shopping hours are listed below.

Friday, November 2nd, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 3rd, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 4th, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

To purchase general shopping and special events tickets, and to view a full list of vendors, visit the Junior League of Odessa website.