Parks and rec column: City busy with full calendar of December events

By Doug CochranChristmas is just around the corner, and the Parks and Recreation Department wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas.

We have just completed one of our largest holiday events this year and there are several more events scheduled to make your holiday season more festive.

On Saturday, the city of Victoria sponsored the Lighted Christmas Parade. This is the largest event our department produces all year. It takes a combined effort of many city departments to coordinate the Lighted Christmas Parade. Planning for this special event begins in June.

The following city departments helped make the parade a success: public works, police, fire, city secretary, city manager's office, development services, public information, information technology and of course, parks and recreation.

In addition, Victoria school district and local businesses allowed use of their parking lots.

Next year, the Lighted Christmas Parade will be moving back to downtown.

On Dec. 11, Christmas in the Park will be in the Special Events Area, next to Riverside Stadium, in Riverside Park. Last year, we had more than 1,500 families and individuals present to visit with Santa and enjoy some Christmas spirit. Corporate sponsors for this event are H-E-B - Rio Grande, PCT Joyful Jumps and the Texas Zoo.

This year, the Texas Zoo will host Santa Claus. A hayride from the Special Events Area will take you to visit Santa.

Hot cocoa, pony rides, cookies and games will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit our website at the address below.

Dec. 18, will be the last Market Days until the spring. Visit with 120 vendors for that last minute Christmas shopping. Market Days will be at the Specials Events Area in Riverside Park beginning at 9 a.m.

Market Days will start back up next year in March.

In the fall, Market Days will return to downtown Victoria.

On behalf of the parks and recreation department we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Please visit our website at www.victoriatx.org for information about parks and recreation and other departments in the city.

Doug Cochran is the director of parks and recreation for the Victoria Parks and Recreation Department. Contact him at 361-485-3200 or dcochran@victoriatx.org. Follow us on Facebook at Victoriaparks Recreation.