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Go local safely for last-minute holiday gifts
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Go local safely for last-minute holiday gifts

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Customers talk with Kiana Muñoz, owner of Yellowbird Farm, about her variety of potted plants during the first day of the Mercado District’s annual Holiday Bazaar.

Despite all that 2020 has brought and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, that last-minute Christmas shopping still needs to get done.

The Mercado District on Tucson’s west side offers a safer way to do that this weekend with an outdoor bazaar featuring 23 local small businesses.

As a precaution against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the annual Christmas en el Barrio used a drive-thru style format to handout toys, gift cards and other items to children and families at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on Dec 18, 2020. At 9 a.m. when the event officially kicked off there were over 150 vehicles in line. Over a thousand were expected to come through by the end of the day. A limited number of volunteers, which added up to just under 50, were present from Nova Home Loans and other community supporters to help welcome vehicles and organize and distribute over $1,600 worth of toys. (Josh Galemore / Arizona Daily Star)

The pop-up market, which started Friday, Dec. 18, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 20, is scaled-back and socially distanced. Sellers and buyers are required to wear masks while browsing vintage collections, artisan-made goods, jewelry, photography, perfume, chocolates, homemade books, macramé and stained-glass gift ideas.

“I love supporting small businesses,” said Kira Dixon-Weinstein, the executive director of the Mercado District that includes Mercado San Agustin and the MSA Annex. “And I always find super-cool stuff for really good deals.”

Vendors will be spaced 12 feet apart, providing room to shop at a socially safe distance. There will be a limited capacity for how many people can shop at one time.

“It feels like one of the better versions of how to shop because you’re outside with lots of space,” Dixon-Weinstein said. “Mask up appropriately, use your judgment and be safe.”

Sunday Joyahnnah Holland is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing with the Arizona Daily Star.

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