The Palmer Events Center connects with the Long Center for the Performing Arts creating one large event center. So, I feel justified in talking about both in one blog. They are both prominent in the daily lives of Austinites, and they both feature in many of my stories that take place in Austin.
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, held each December at the Palmer, is one of my favorite bazaars held in Austin. It features traveling and local artists and business in a fun and family friendly environment. The number of artist selling their wares and performing on stage during the bazaar makes the event very Austin. I don’t always purchase Christmas gifts there, but I can always find something for me, especially among the local chocolatier’s stalls.
Iconic for Austin is the HEB Terrace at the Long Center. Its columns following the semicircular patio invites visitors to take in the full Austin landscape. From the terrace, visitors look over Zilker park, the river, and then the skyline. The colors making up the “arch,” the lights, and undisturbed view make it a favorite place to relax and meet friends before performances.
Regular gatherings are held on the terrace throughout the seasons making it a community gathering spot. The Long Center itself is a grand theater but with a truly Austin theme. It’s not so grand that anyone feels out of place. The grand spaces are quiet, reflective. It allows for the audience to admire performances of all kind and feel comfortable and relaxed. I’ve been in grand performance halls where the dress must always be formal, and manners require absolute seriousness. They don’t allow for the absorption of the performances, only for the watching them. At the Long Center, expect to enjoy and feel the performances as easily as you watch them.
Whether my characters are meeting on the terrace or enjoying a concert, they are part of the Austin crowd.