Victoria students paint town red and green (w/video)

Victoria Main Street Association is sponsoring a holiday window painting contest that includes about 20 store fronts and students from Victoria public and private high schools.

  • • 6 p.m. Friday, Lighting of the Plaza

    • 6 p.m. Saturday, Lighted Christmas Parade

  • win

Students from the St. Joseph High School art club are painting the town red and green in preparation for the Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday.

The window paintings, which include free-handed scenes from winter classics like "The Nutcracker" and "Charlie Brown," are part of an inaugural holiday contest sponsored by the Main Street Association.

Briana Bernal, with the Victoria Main Street Association, said voting for the contest, which features about 15 downtown storefronts, is open during the Lighting of the Plaza at 6 p.m. Friday.

Voting closes in time for the Lighted Christmas Parade, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at DeLeon Plaza.

"We wanted to get students and people in the community involved," Bernal said. "We wanted to bring the arts down here. We have musicians downtown, but we have artists, too."

Students from St. Joseph High School and Victoria East participated in the painting.

Johanna Hoang, a 17-year-old St. Joseph senior, took charge of a downtown block facing DeLeon Plaza during her Thanksgiving break.

"This is our first big project with the city," she said. "I hope it grows bigger and bigger and that we get more people involved."

Hoang, president of the school's art club, is hoping the inaugural window decorating contest sets a strong precedent for other artists to follow.

"It's about trying to give back to the community," she said.

Many of the students involved echoed the same sentiments.

While painting a foamy hot chocolate drink on the door leading into Rosebud's on Main Street, Emily Omecinski, a 17-year-old St. Joseph senior, stayed in high spirits despite winds whipping chilly air and cracking layers of paint.

She sees the contest as a change to showcase their talents and abilities to the town.

"Once you get into it, the cold doesn't matter," she said. "We're here to have fun and see what we can do."