Christmas events in Victoria might look different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there will be no shortage of holiday cheer.
Because of the pandemic, Victoria's annual Lighted Christmas Parade will be a reverse parade, which means the floats will be stationary and attendees will drive through to look at them, said Gabby Anglin, recreation coordinator with Victoria Parks and Recreation. It’ll be different than in years past, as is everything in 2020.
“It’s been a challenging year for recreation but to be able to give the community something to do that’s safe, fun, community-oriented and celebrates Christmas, is great,” Anglin said.
This year’s event, which is scheduled for Dec. 5, will take place in Riverside Park instead of around Victoria’s downtown square. The floats will be set up at different spots throughout the park, and attendees will enter the park in their cars through Red River Street toward McCright Drive and drive through the park to look at the lit-up floats.
As of early November, at least 70 groups had already signed up to participate, Anglin said.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, plans for other events, such as Victoria’s Christmas on the Square, are up in the air, Anglin said. As of early November, the reverse parade was the only definite event scheduled.
“I hope that people still get to take in the magic of what the Lighted Christmas Parade is, even with the challenges of 2020,” Anglin said. “We’re grateful to put this on.”
Additionally, residents still will be able to find a piece of Christmas cheer downtown with a new 30-foot, animated, pre-lit Christmas tree that will come to life with lights and holiday music at night.
Years ago, there was a Christmas tree in DeLeon Plaza, and Danielle Williams, director of the Victoria Main Street Program, wanted to bring it back. The music shows will run about seven to nine minutes.
“We want to draw people to downtown, and we want to bring back some of the joy and spirit this year, especially since this has been such a rough year,” Williams recently told the Advocate.