Sneak Peak, a night of preview Christmas shopping, will launch this year’s Junior League of Lubbock Holiday Happening at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.
Regional and local merchants who plan to offer gift possibilities ranging from food and clothing to children’s toys and kitchen items total approximately 130 this year, according to Erin Gregg, publicity and marketing chair for Holiday Happening.
“That’s based on how many we can squeeze into the Civic Center,” Gregg said.
There’s a motive for the mammoth event that has become a somewhat iconic start of the Christmas shopping season on the South Plains — Holiday Happening raises most of the funds for the community activities of the Junior League of Lubbock.
This will be the 38th annual Holiday Happening, which serves as the nonprofit Junior League’s largest fundraiser of the year, Gregg said. On average, the multi-day event, which is packed with shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities, raises about $250,000.
“The most important thing that we want people to know is that while they are at the Civic Center enjoying our events and all the wonderful shopping that it brings to Lubbock, every penny we make from the event goes back into the Junior League that we use for community programs to support the community and our children in Lubbock,” Gregg said.
The organization’s largest project is the Food to Kids program that sends more than a thousand food sacks home with elementary school children who may not have food over the weekend within the Lubbock Independent School District, she said.
“We also have a mentoring program for middle school girls in LISD, called SPARK,” she said. “And we have a Kids in the Kitchen program that is a nutritional program to help teach children about healthy eating and exercise.”
The attractions of Holiday Happening include a Ladies Day event on Thursday that features stroller-free shopping from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A banquet that day, with a style show and silent auction, also is available for a ticket price of $45.
Tickets for Market Hall shopping each day are $10.
Additions have been made to the typical schedule this year, Gregg said.
She describes a Girls Night Out event on Friday that will offer an opportunity for women to get together and visit Holiday Happening, have food and drinks and enjoy a chance for adults to have their pictures made with Santa. Tickets are $25.
“That’s to be 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is a come-and-go event,” she said.
Another change has been to move the traditional children’s morning from Friday to Saturday.
“In addition to the two seatings of Breakfast with Santa that we have on Saturday, we now have a 2 p.m. seating for folks who would find it easier to get the little ones to the Civic Center in the afternoon.”
The first two regular sessions with Santa are planned at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15.
Market Hall shopping is available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Additional information about prices, times and auction times are available online at the league’s website: www.jllujbbock.com.