Originally published in the November 2016 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.
The Junior League of Tampa’s Holiday Gift Market has become a wildly popular shopping tradition for families in Tampa Bay that happens to have very deep roots in Tampa history. The annual fundraising event started in the 1931 as a Salvage Shop that helped employ jobless women in our community. It then evolved into the Junior League of Tampa Thrift Store which was located on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa and later became the Trinkets and Treasures Thrift Sale which delighted shoppers for four decades. In 2004 the event was officially named Holiday Gift Market. This year, the event celebrated its 13th anniversary as The Junior League of Tampa celebrates its own milestone anniversary of 90 years of giving back to the community.
We sat down with JLT president Nicole Hubbard, mother of 5-year-old Ansley and 7-year-old Austin, to learn more about what you can expect at this year’s Holiday Gift Market on November 10-13 at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall.
What exactly is Holiday Gift Market: Holiday Gift Market is one of The Junior League of Tampa’s largest fundraising events of the year. It’s a 4-day shopping event that features more than 150 specialty merchants from across the country offering unique gift items. You can truly find something for everyone on your holiday gift list, from clothing, jewelry and handbags to food, art and children’s items. This year’s Holiday Gift Market is taking place Nov. 10-13.
How much will it cost for me to attend? Admission is $8. You can purchase tickets at the door or online at http://hgm2016.eventbrite.com/?aff=HGMFacebook. Parking is $6. Since the Friday of this year’s market falls on Veterans Day, we are offering veterans FREE admission as well as prizes that afternoon with a valid military ID. Admission for veterans on Saturday and Sunday is $5 and 100 percent of net proceeds will fund our mission which is promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Can I bring my children? Absolutely! We have planned several special and fun events for the kids like Cookies with the Clauses and a Meet and Greet with the princesses of Parties with Character. The market also features a Nursing Nook with comfortable chairs and a changing table. We also encourage you to bring the guys! We’ve got a Man Cave which will feature all of the big football games of the weekend.
What are you most excited about this year? Our 2016 Young Women’s Entrepreneurship Program winner, Janee Scarlee, owner of Old City Calligraphy, specializing in hand lettered custom signage and calligraphy. We debuted our Young Women’s Entrepreneurship Program in 2014 with the goal to provide a grant for a female business owner to showcase her business at Holiday Gift Market. Past winners include Kristen Ostow of Southerndoe and Jordann Windschauer of Base Culture.
How can I become a part of The Junior League of Tampa? A candidate must be between the ages of 23 and 39 on July 1, 2017, a resident of Hillsborough or Pasco County, and have an interest in community service and volunteering. The application process opens in the spring. Learn more at: www.jltampa.org/membership.