COA Employee Appreciation Day History

Look for the announcement in your citywide newsletter every December.

Show your COA ID badge at the door for free entry

For many years now, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has invited all of Austin’s City employees to attend the the show for free. Ever wondered why? Here’s the story.

Bruce Willenzik, Executive Producer, worked as an advisor to the team that designed City Hall through the building’s construction. When City Hall opened in 2004 he approached then City Manager, Toby Futrell, asking if he could give free tickets to the Armadillo to all City Hall staff. “I wanted to say thank you for letting me be involved in the project,” he says. Futrell checked with the Ethics Office and came back to Bruce. “I’m sorry,” she said, “according to ethics code you’d have to provide tickets not just to City Hall employees, but to every City employee.” Well, Bruce thought that was a great idea and the Armadillo has been doing it ever since.

As Austin grows and inducts new transplants into the City’s fold the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is spreading some old Austin love by shouting this invitation from the rooftops.