Q: Hi Brittany, so we know this is the 19th year of A Very Merry Market (AVMM). What do you think will make this year so special?
B: This year we wanted to bring something fun and new to the community. We will still have all the classic features of Market, but we will introduce some special new events, new merchants to shop with, and just give everyone a chance to come out, get together with friends, have fun and do some shopping. All of the events within the three days of shopping are going to be a big hit and become crowd favorites!
Q: We’ve heard there are 50 vendors and counting! What vendors are you personally the most excited about shopping with?
B: This year I am most excited because half of our merchants have never been to AVMM before. We have merchants from all over the United States. Personally, I always love the booths that bring one-of-a-kind items you can’t get anywhere else. Those always make great gifts for the person we all have in our lives who is hard to shop for!
Q: Ladies’ Night is always the kickoff and highlight of AVMM. What’s in store this year?
B: Get out your cowgirl boots and dust off your hat! On Thursday, Oct 27th - it’s Boots & Bling Ladies’ Night! We will have music by DJ Shy Tyler, a dance floor, specialty drinks from Southbound Spirits, photo op areas, a VIP sitting area, catered food, and much more! This year’s Ladies’ Night is sponsored by Alexandria Emergency Hospital and will definitely be an event to remember!
Q: Nothing helps bring the spirit at Ladies’ Night more than SPIRITS – are any specialty cocktails in the works for Ladies’ Night?
B: Of course! Southbound Spirits, our amazing beverage sponsor, is busy coming up with the best signature cocktails for Ladies’ Night. They will have their Tap Trailer on site and ready to pour! Plus, all Ladies’ Night tickets include a free specialty drink.
Q: I’ve heard there are two different types of Ladies’ Night tickets this year, including a VIP level ticket. Tell me what’s in store for the VIP ticket holders.
B: Yes! We offered a limited number of VIP tickets this year and those tickets sold out within 24 hours. Our VIP ticket is $65 and includes an hour early shopping, special VIP seating, 2 drink tickets, BBQ food bites, and a nice swag bag.
Q: Any other fun in store for Ladies’ Night?
B: Glad you asked! In keeping with the Boots & Bling theme, we have two surprises. The first is that we will have a special guest booth just for Ladies’ Night - Kendra Scott jewelry will be with us that night for all your BLING needs and a portion of all sales will benefit the Junior League of Alexandria! And the second surprise is that we will have a mechanical bull!
Q: What?!?!?! That sounds so fun….and SO entertaining! Tell me more.
A: Well, we will be offering mechanical bull rides for $5 at the event. But that’s not all, for every woman that stays on the bull for at least 8 seconds will be entered to win some bling from Kendra Scott. We have several pieces to giveaway and we will be calling winners each hour during Ladies’ Night. It will be a night to remember for sure!
Q: After Ladies’ Night, shopping will continue Friday and Saturday. What are the open shopping hours? And are there any discounts on tickets during these times?
B: Friday offers a full day of shopping from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. General admission tickets at the door are only $8. Also on Friday, starting at 2 p.m., we are celebrating our Hometown Heroes with a discounted $5 ticket at the door with your ID. Our Hometown Heroes include essential workers, teachers, military and first responders. Saturday shopping hours are from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Anyone can purchase general admission tickets to shop for a discounted price if you purchase online during our pre-sale at bit.ly/AVMM22
Q: The word on the street is that there is a new event happening during Market on Friday evening. Can you tell us more?
B: On Friday evening, we are excited to host our first ever Recycled Runway, sponsored by Red River Marine. This event is a fashion show incorporating secondhand fashions from our New To You Thrift Store. We will have 10 local “celebrities” showcase styles exclusively from New To You and earn votes through donations from individuals in the community and shoppers the night of the event. The winner of the event will be the contestant who raises the most money, and they will receive the Golden Hanger Award.
Contestants will also have an opportunity to be chosen as the People’s Choice winner through our Sippin’ with Style pre party. The pre party, held October 20th from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Southbound Spirits, will showcase specialty drinks created by our contestants. Guests will get to taste the various drinks and purchase them as well. The participant who has the most of their signature beverage sold will be named the People’s Choice winner. These beverages will be available for purchase at Southbound Spirits from October 20th-23rd. The sale of each beverage is not only equal to a vote, but will also give back to the Junior League of Alexandria as a portion of the profits will be donated.
Q: That sounds so fun and so entertaining! So, who are these local celebrities and how can we vote for our favorite?
B: Voting can start NOW at bit.ly/RecycledRunway22 and voting will be open throughout the event as the contestants will be working it on the runway that Friday night! You can also vote for your favorite contestant by purchasing their drink creation at Southbound Spirits from October 20th - October 23rd. Stop by the pre-party and vote in their tip jars as well on October 20th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. So as far as the contestants - Drumroll, please.......the first ever Recycled Runway Contestants are:
Senator Jay Luneau's Legislative Assistant
Owner of Josh Candiloro Photography
Owner Farm Bureau Insurance "Talk to Hawk"
Owner/Broker/Realtor at The Trish LeLeux Group
Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Southern Heritage Bank
Owner & Medical Consultant at Wolf Rx Drugs
Founder of Be Inspired Counseling & Consulting
Program Coordinator at Louisiana Central
LeeAnn Borrel & Caitlin Murphy
Teacher at Mabel Brasher Montessori & Personal Banker at Red River Bank
Click here to check out all the contestants and start voting: bit.ly/RecycledRunway22
Q: Well, it wouldn’t be Market without some fun for kids. Character events usually fill up the Saturday of Market. We hear that we've got princesses and MORE! Are the rumors true? What kind of characters will be there this year and what can we expect?
B: Ahoy, Matey! This year we welcome Pirates and Princesses. Kids will enjoy a craft, photos with their favorite characters, performances by their favorite characters, and cookies from our sponsors, St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Great American Cookie Company. We are excited to welcome some local theater talent to sing and entertain kids of all ages. The characters that will be there are Ariel and Prince Eric, Princess Tiana & Prince Naveen, Rapunzel, Elsa, Anna, & Olaf, Isabela, along with some pirate friends! This year when you purchase your tickets, we are offering an add-on Treasure Hunt option. After each showing, your child will follow a treasure map throughout A Very Merry Market to hunt for jewels. When they finish the hunt, they can turn their jewels in for treasure. Pirates and Princesses will have 5 seatings: 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and are selling fast! The 9:30 and 10:30 showing are getting full, so get your tickets today! We also encourage kids to dress up. We know it's Halloween weekend, and we would love to see all the fun costumes!
Q: We can’t wait for all the fun! So…the main question is: How do we secure our tickets for all the events?
B: You can visit our website at JLalexandria.com or check out our social media posts where we have ticket sales links.
Q: The event will be at the Randolph Riverfront Center. Tell us the dates and times one more time.
A: The dates for A Very Merry Market are Oct 27th -29th. Ladies’ Night “Boots and Bling” is Thursday Oct 27th from 7 p.m. -10 p.m. Regular market hours on Friday from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. with our special Recycled Runway event at 6 p.m. Saturday Shopping is from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with our Character Events throughout the morning.
Q: Anything else you’d like shoppers to know?
A: First, thanks to our amazing partners! This weekend wouldn’t be possible without you! This year’s top partners for A Very Merry Market are Checkers, Little Caesars Pizza, Red River Bank, Alexandria Emergency Hospital, Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Red River Marine. Thank you! Secondly, don’t miss out on this fun holiday event! A Very Merry Market is the Junior League of Alexandria’s biggest fundraiser. Funds raised help us give back to the community right here in Alexandria. Come out, have fun, and shop for a cause! We can’t wait to see you!