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Port Lavaca celebrates holiday on ice (w/video)

By Elena Watts
Dec. 5, 2013 at 6:05 a.m.

Gisselle Morales, 7, of Port Lavaca, skates for the first time on a synthetic plastic ice skating rink in Port Lavaca.

PORT LAVACA - Frigid gusts of wind pushed redneck paraders down Main Street and around the ice skating rink on the Bayfront Peninsula in Port Lavaca on Thursday.

Redneck Christmas was the theme of this year's annual holiday parade that attracted hundreds of spectators, and camouflage clothing dominated the scene.

Allison King snuggly held 2-week-old Casen King to her chest under heaps of patchwork quilt while her 2-year-old son, Coda King, tapped a glow stick against the ground.

King has enjoyed the coastal town's Christmas parades since she was a young girl.

"I want to watch my son's reaction to the Christmas lights, Santa and the fire trucks," King said. "This is the first year he can understand what's going on."

King huddled with her family in front of her mother's shop, Beefore It's a Quilt and Gift, to watch the procession. Cedar posts wrapped in red and white striped ribbon resembled candy canes propping up the canopy over them. An upside-down Christmas tree strung with a slew of red lights brightened the display window behind them.

"We're enjoying hot chocolate from the Green Iguana," said father-in-law Carl King, who stayed warm under a blanket as he watched the hometown tradition. "We ordered food to take home after the parade - we only live two blocks away."

The Calhoun High School football team, whose members waved from the top of the Formosa fire truck in their letterman jackets, stole the spotlight.

The high school's cheerleaders, drill team and marching band also caused a stir.

After the parade, the festive rednecks hit the synthetic ice.

Seven-year-old Gisselle Morales, of Port Lavaca, who had never roller-skated, laced up a pair of ice skates for the first time.

"I balance on one foot and walk with the other," Gisselle said. "I don't have one at home, but I like ice skating."

The outdoor ice skating rink, which is free to the public, was so popular last year that the city decided to install an even larger rink this year.

The 30-by-54-foot flat plastic slab is sprayed with water and a compound to create a slick surface for skating. The city also provides the skates.

"Many of the citizens of Port Lavaca do not get to ice skate," said Darren Gurley, public works director for the city of Port Lavaca. "It's another great activity for Christmas at the Bayfront."

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