Wassail Fest and Small Business Saturday are Back in Bastrop November 27th!
24 Nov 2021
Bastrop, Texas, is a destination for the holidays! Wassail Fest and Small Business Saturday are back November 27th to kick off the season of Lost Pines Christmas events! Canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, the return of this family-friendly celebration, a tradition since 2016, is guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit. Wassail Fest is a great day to come downtown, do a little Christmas shopping, have lunch, drink some delicious warm wassail, and enjoy the best of the season.
Wassail Fest and Small Business Saturday bring you back to the days when shopping was a festive experience you shared with family and friends that went beyond “add to cart.” Feel that good cheer again when you “Shop Small” in Historic Downtown Bastrop as we put our small businesses front and center to celebrate their contribution to our local economy during Small Business Saturday, a national campaign in its 12th year. While ideally, we would all shop local throughout the year in order to create the greatest impact on our economic vitality, Small Business Saturday is a fun reminder to do so, and a great reason to visit local shops and retailers to see what they have to offer. Check off your holiday gift list while sampling house-recipe wassail from our shops, artisans, bars, and restaurants while enjoying live music from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m by the Chris Rybak Polka Band in front of the Museum and Visitor Center of Bastrop County Historical Society.
“Small Business Saturday is a great way to focus attention on local merchants as we kick off the most critical season, particularly for retail,” said Kevin Plunkett, Vice Chair, Bastrop Economic Development Corporation Board, and Owner, Piney Creek Chop House and Old Town Tavern. “The impact is year-round as the consistent message solidifies the public's understanding of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses. The tremendous population growth we are experiencing along with great pro-business policies make this a great time to be a restaurant owner in Bastrop.”
“Wassail Fest is an event we look forward to every year,” continued Plunkett. “It allows us exposure to new potential customers and gives us an excuse to create something outside our usual menu, as well as participate with our neighbors in a friendly competition.”
Wassail sounds merry, but what exactly is it you ask? It’s a hot drink made with wine, beer, or cider mulled with spices, sugar, and usually baked apples. It is traditionally served from a large bowl, especially at Christmastime, and historically was an integral part of wassailing, an ancient English Yuletide drinking ritual and salutation. Wassail Fest participants put their own twists on the beverage which are heavily guarded recipes among the cooks.
While Downtown visitors are the true winners by warming their bodies and spirits sampling the various wassails, the recipes are being judged on both taste and presentation. Participating merchants are also battling for the coveted Wassail Fest 2021 People’s Choice award where shoppers and visitors determine the honoree by casting their votes for the best wassail. The competition is fierce, but the wassail is welcoming.
Participating businesses include Astro Record Store, Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market, Bastrop Florist, Black & White Interiors, Colorado River Winery, Copper Shot Distillery, KC Outfitter, Neighbor's Kitchen & Yard, Old Town Restaurant & Bar, Radiant Mama Juice Bar, Store House Market & Eatery, Sugar Shack, Bridges Emporium, R.A. Green Mercantile, and Tough Cookie Bakery.
But the festivities don’t end here! The City of Bastrop's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Party takes place at Fisherman’s Park on Farm Street at 6 p.m. This fun-filled, family-friendly event is the official kick-off for Lost Pines Christmas and the beautiful River of Lights! Residents and visitors alike can enjoy treats, music, a visit from Santa, and more! This event is free, and open to the public. The River of Lights continues to be open nightly until 10 p.m. through the holiday season.
Other Lost Pine Christmas events filling up the calendar with merriment include:
- “A Country Christmas” at the Farm Street Opry on December 2
- Holiday Bazaar at Lost Pines Art Center on December 4
- Art After Dark - Holiday Edition at the Lost Pines Art Center on December 4
- 2021 Lighted Christmas Parade on December 11
- “Rented Christmas, The Musical” at the Bastrop Opera House on multiple dates in December
- Scream Hollow’s Twisted Christmas on multiple dates in December