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Holidays

This Year’s Chi Omega Christmas Market is Changing Dates and Locations 

The annual holiday bazaar is moving to Dallas Market Hall this September after years of popping up in November at Fair Park.
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The Chi Omega Christmas Market is moving to Dallas Market Hall. Courtesy of Chi Omega Christmas Market

After more than a decade of holiday shopping at Fair Park, the Chi Omega Christmas Market is packing up shop and dashing away to a new location. This fall, the popular seasonal bazaar will take over Dallas Market Hall off Interstate 35. And with the move comes a new date for Christmas (shopping): September 26–28. 

It’s not the first time the event has moved. Since 1978, local Chi Omega sorority alumnae have run the annual Christmas market, donating its proceeds to a number of local charities and nonprofits. Taking place at the old Dallas Convention Center, that first year had 50 merchant booths and raised $13,000, says 2024 market co-chair Debbie Lang. The event stayed at the convention center for years, before moving to Fair Park in 2012. Since then, the event has continued to grow—in 2023, the market hosted more than 200 merchants and raised $572,000. 

While leaving Fair Park is a “sad goodbye,” it’s a necessary one, Lang says. There are a number of planned projects both on the South Dallas fairgrounds—like an 18-acre community park—and in the surrounding neighborhood. “Fair Park is going to be awesome,” Lang says, but all those projects mean a ton of construction and “a lot of unknown.” The organization didn’t want to get stuck in a position of having to scramble and find a new venue last minute if the construction became too much at Fair Park. Organizers wanted something more stable, so after the 2023 market concluded last November, they began their search. 

That November and December “was a very intense search period,” Lang says. They wanted a larger space, something not too expensive, and was easy for merchants and shoppers alike to access. Dallas Market Hall was their first preference. 

They liked the venue’s parking, as well as the transom windows that allow for more natural light. Plus, at 202,000 square feet, the hall was more than double the size of Fair Park’s 84,500-square-foot Automobile Building, where Chi Omega hosted its market since 2021. All that additional square footage gives them room for more pop-ups, entertainment, and “freedom for fun for holiday activities,” Lang says.   

It was Dallas Market Hall who gave them the September dates, as opposed to the organization’s normal November schedule. But, Lang says, “we actually are very excited for the September date.” Many of their merchants carry seasonal décor and merchandise for Halloween, fall football tailgating, and Thanksgiving, along with Christmas. By the time the Chi Omega Market rolls around the weekend before Thanksgiving, however, shoppers don’t necessarily care about those other events. With this new, early fall date, “we’re excited to offer a full holiday season of shopping from fall to football to Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she says. 

Vendors haven’t seemed to mind the new dates. “They’re excited that this date will allow people to really shop and enjoy without being torn in different places.” November is a busy month for Texas holiday bazaars. Austin’s A Christmas Affair event has historically taken place the same weekend as the Chi Omega Christmas Market, and Houston’s massive Nutcracker Market occurs the weekend before. Most of the merchants that attend these events are small businesses. Some operate only online, some have brick-and-mortars, and others make their money by traveling nationwide to various markets. And with so many bazaars in one month, some of these merchants only have the resources to attend one or two. This way, Lang says, they won’t have to choose between Chi Omega and another Christmas event. 

Plus, with so early a date, “our shoppers are going to get the first look at a lot of our merchants’ seasonal merchandise, being in September, and we’re really excited about that,” she says.  

With the changes, Lang says they are expanding their offerings. While most of the plans are still under wraps, she says they are planning special offerings during their “First Call” and “Girls’ Night Out” on Thursday and they will have specialty pop-up merchant booths throughout the three-day event. 

But, she notes, the core of the event will stay the same. Despite the September date, the Christmas market will still be holiday themed. “You’ll still feel like you’re walking into Christmas,” Lang says. Santa will of course make an early appearance.

Sept. 26–28. Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Fwy. Learn more here

Author

Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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