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Round Top Antiques Fair: Discovering the 'thrill of the hunt'

Round Top Antiques Fair

It may be known for its verdant hills, grazing longhorns and postcard-perfect sunsets, but when October rolls around, visitors to the small town of Round Top, population 90, have just one thing on their minds: antiquing.

Founded in 1968 by Emma Lee Turney, the biannual Original Round Top Antiques Fair is now one of the biggest antique shows in the country, courting more than 150,000 visitors who flood through nearly 100 venues looking for treasures in the form of fine art, home décor, jewelry and more.

“It’s like a man’s hunting season,” said Bronwyn Walsh, who first attended the show in 2006 and has only missed two shows since. “I immediately knew I found my happy place.”

Walsh, who lives in Dripping Springs, was so happy in the town that in 2013 she purchased, gutted and redecorated a travel traveler she calls Gertie so that she’d have a place to stay during visits to Round Top, which, at the time, had few lodging options. In the years since, Walsh has opened her own Austin boutique, Ollyloo Shoppe, which is named after her two children – Oliver and Lucy – and offers a “lovely curation of new and vintage treasures.”

This month, rather than attending the antiques fair as a spectator as she has in years past, Walsh is having a full-circle moment as she runs a booth for her boutique at her favorite festival in her favorite place.

“It’s amazing,” she said, pausing our telephone conversation to help a customer who was interested in one of the lamps at her booth. “I’m having the time of my freaking life.”

This year’s fair spans more than 11 miles across Texas State Highway 237 and includes nearly 100 venues, each of which sets its own dates and schedules. The original – and most iconic – venue remains the Big Red Barn, which launches its show at 1 p.m. Monday; the show will run through Oct. 29. (A VIP Early Shopping Pass is also available that gives visitors access to the show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, before it opens to the public.)

Stephanie Disney, show manager at the Original Round Top Antique Show at the Big Red Barn, said the thing that keeps people coming back to the show, which is located between Austin and Houston, each year is “the thrill of the hunt.” She added that she attended the show for 15 years as a spectator before becoming show manager and that all of her favorite items in her house come from Round Top.

“It’s kind of like the Disneyland of antiquing. That’s why people love it. It’s the possibility of finding that amazing thing that you can’t find anywhere else,” she said, adding that as soon as this show concludes, she and her team, which includes her parents and her siblings, will immediately begin preparing for the spring show.

As for Walsh, she, too, is already looking forward to spring.

“I want my ashes spread here,” she said. “I feel this horrifying, gut-wrenching pain having to drive away from Round Top. It’s really freaky. It’s just so much fun and people are so amazing. Everybody loves Round Top. You can’t describe the love. You can’t describe the energy throughout the whole town, really.”


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway