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Christmas in Goliad a big, small-town event

By KBell
Dec. 4, 2010 at 6:04 a.m.

Santa Claus and Cheynne the Longhorn make their Christmas debut in front of the Goliad County Courthouse at the "Christmas in Goliad" on the Square event on Saturday. The pair passed by arts & crafts vendors, food trailers, live music and entertainment surrounding the courthouse before posing for photos with event goers.

GOLIAD - Sitting under a shade tree on the Courthouse Square, two old friends were catching up.

Pam Garcia and Esther Rangel ignored the bustle of hundreds of people around them and let cowboy poets serve as their background music.

They were at the 27th annual "Christmas in Goliad" and had already made the rounds, sampling food and admiring craft booths.

"We come to chat with old friends who are still here," said Rangel, who's from the Corpus Christi area. "It's very nice, especially this weather," the 70-year-old added from under a light blanket.

Rangel grew up in Goliad but moved away in 1962. She comes back every year for the "Christmas in Goliad" celebration.

"Listening to this music and visiting with friends," is the best part, she said.

After reminiscing about their time in school together, Garcia and Rangel recalled how they've seen the festival mature throughout the years.

"It's improved. There's music and more venues," Garcia, 65, said.

This year's festival boasted an author's corral, cowboy poetry, dancers, chorus groups, live music and the main attraction, Santa Claus arriving on a longhorn, escorted by the Pony Express.

Despite the action around her, Garcia said the celebration still has a small-town feel.

"You know everyone, practically," she said.

Even an outsider said he feels at home at "Christmas in Goliad."

Rangel brought along eight friends to this year's celebration and at least four of them could be found inside Ervie Jay's Beer Garden after a long day of Christmas shopping on the square.

"It's a nice environment," Lupe Alvarado said over a cold beer. "The people are real friendly and welcoming."

It was Alvarado's first time at the celebration, and he mentioned the square's happy atmosphere more than a few times.

"The cowboy style, the old-time feel," Alvarado said. "It's a peaceful town. The people are good."

The waitress brought the former foreigners another round, and Alvarado vowed to be back next year.

"Oh definitely. I have to."



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