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Alternative Gift Fair



This holiday season, put a new twist on Black Friday at Charlottesville’s First Alternative Gift Fair! At the Paramount’s holiday gift fair, “There will be nothing,” says Chris Eure, Executive Director of The Paramount “Rather, no ‘things’ for sale at all. No bangles, baubles, or beads, no scarves or socks or earrings or etchings,” or anything one might expect to find at typical holiday bazaar.

The sole stars and beneficiaries of the Paramount’s Holiday Alternative Gift Fair are Charlottesville’s non-profits and charities: the many organizations who focus on local issues of hunger, abuse, poverty, civil liberties, the arts, children, education, resources, and so  many other needs in this tremendously diverse and eclectic pocket of  Central Virginia. Generously sponsored by Victor Millner at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

Nonprofits include: 

  • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge
  • Building Bridges
  • Building Goodness Foundation
  • Carson Raymond Foundation
  • City Schoolyard Garden
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad
  • Charlottesvile Albemarle SPCA
  • Habitat For Humanity
  • Literacy Volunteers of Albemarle/Charlottesville
  • Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry
  • Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP)
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Oratorio Society
  • Piedmont Council for the Arts
  • Ring Dog Rescue
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Service Dogs of Virginia
  • Shenandoah National Park Trust
  • The Haven 
  • The Paramount Theater

Thank you to our event sponsors!


At the Paramount’s Alternative Gift Fair, holiday shoppers will be able to visit with local organizations, hear about their work and challenges, and decide whether to name a gift to that organization in honor or in memory of a friend, colleague or loved one. This model works beautifully for the charities benefitted, as well as for the shopping supporters, who walk out the door of the Paramount after just one stop of shopping, with gifts all purchased and no bulky boxes or shrink-wrapped gizmos to carry home and gift-wrap. Instead of packages and bags and boxes to juggle, the satisfied Alternative Gift Fair shopper heads for home or office with only a tidy handful of attractive, gift-worthy acknowledgement cards that donations have been made in beloved giftees’ names, ready to pop into the mail or tuck into holiday stockings or under the tree.

Gifts can range in specificity and price. “The donation might be toward any number of resources or initiatives taken by a shopper’s favorite non-profits. Beneficiaries range from animal rescue, children’s programs, scholarships, libraries, to organizations fighting hunger and abuse. A gift might be purchased adequate to provide school lunches for a week for a needy family, a chair for a lounge at an abused women’s resource center, or summer camp or warm clothing for homeless or disadvantaged youth for the winter ahead.

Says Mrs. Eure, “Everyone I’ve ever heard of who has shopped in this way has loved every minute. I loved being on the receiving end last year. My daughter did all her holiday shopping last year at just such a fair in Nashville! The Alternative Gift model gives the buyer a more spiritual feeling about giving at the holidays, and gives a leg up to local groups who are admittedly struggling to fulfill their missions in a tough economy. The Paramount is, in a sense, the Fair’s first patron, as it opens its doors and shares its resources at no cost to the nonprofit to provide a forum on that day, whereby our local non-profits may become better known to those who might support them and raise valuable – indeed, crucial – program funds. It’s a win-win all around: a win for the shoppers and a win for the nonprofits.”

The Alternative Gift Fair will be coordinated with the triumvirate of Paramount events on November 23rd: the Holiday Spotlight concert of local music groups at the Paramount, a screening of Miracle on 34th Street, and the Tree Lighting on the Downtown Mall. For information please visit www.theparamount.net or email alternativegiftfair@theparamount.net.

While shopping, you will be entertained with an array of local school groups, choirs, and ensembles who will be performing as part of the annual Paramount Holiday Spotlight – marking another year of this “Downtown for the Holidays” tradition! This year, we are very excited to be able to host Holiday Spotlight in conjunction with many downtown holiday festivities, including the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting and our own Alternative Gift Fair in The Paramount Ballroom.

During a typical Holiday Spotlight, a variety of performers showcase their talents on The Paramount’s stage, bringing together hundreds of community members to share in holiday cheer and witness our terrific local talent. We welcome participants across all of the performing arts – music, drama, dance – whatever your school or group has to offer!

For more info – see our Holiday Spotlight event page: http://www.theparamount.net/2012/holiday-spotlight-2/


The Paramount Theater is proud to join forces with community leaders to bring high quality performing arts to our community.

Thank you to our Marquee Producers Club Sponsor!

Thank you to our Producers Club Sponsors!
Bank of America Natural Retreats Pepsi-Cola Central Virginia Ting
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  • Student Rush Persons with a valid student ID or proof of enrollment are eligible to purchase remaining tickets to all Paramount Presents performances at a 50% discount at the Box Office 45 minutes prior to show time.
  • Youth/Child Tickets Youth/Child tickets are for patrons ages 12 and younger. All children must have a ticket (no "babes in arms").
  • Group Sales Groups of 20 or more attending Paramount performances receive a 10% discount on the price of tickets (not valid for all shows). The complete order for a group should be placed at one time. Please contact the Box Office at 434.979.1333 for more information.

Support for the Arts

Thank you to The National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts for their generous support of The Paramount Theater.

National Endowment for the Arts color logoVirginia Commission for the Arts color logo

Private Events

Contact Us

Box Office:

Hours: Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm
Phone: 434.979.1333

Will Call window opens 2 hours before an event and 1 hour before movies/broadcasts.

Administrative Office:

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5pm
Phone: 434.979.1922
Email: info@theparamount.net