Rec Room column: Downtown ready for most wonderful time of year

Nov. 20, 2011 at 5:20 a.m.

By Shane Simon

It still amazes me how quickly retail stores close out Halloween, almost skip over Thanksgiving and go directly into Christmas displays and music in their establishment.

Personally, I just can't bring myself to put up lights without some prodding from my family or being shamed into it by my neighbor's not so subtle display that has been methodically thought out ever since they removed last year's lights.

It's not that I enjoy procrastinating or that I am a humbug; it's just a busy time in the Parks and Recreation Department.

If you had the pleasure of attending Bootfest during the evening, you were able to get a taste of how beautiful downtown will look this holiday season.

Yep, we even beat the department stores in getting our display up first. Not by design but by necessity. More than 168,000 lights are placed throughout DeLeon Plaza and it is my understanding that there will be an additional lighting surprise when the community visits us for an opening lighting ceremony that will kick off our Christmas on the Square at 6 p.m. Dec. 2.

This event will take the place of our original Christmas in the Park and will set the stage for our Christmas Lighted Parade taking place the following night Saturday, Dec. 3.

Christmas on the Square will include lots of games, rides, cookies, hot chocolate, candy canes and of course the ever important visits with Santa at the bandstand. This event will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free to the public.

The following night the parade will start at 6 p.m. and will dazzle all the patrons with the wonderful display of lights, wonderful tunes from the bands and unique float designs. Being Victoria's largest parade, we estimate there to be 120 entries this year.

Patrons need not worry about eating prior to arrival because there will be food vendors at every street crossing along the parade route.

I can't think of a better way to start the holiday season.

Wow, I may have to rethink my own light display and in between turkey and dressing servings break out the ladder and start stringing lights up at home.

Thinking about it now I guess it really is the "most wonderful time of the year."

Shane Simon is the recreation services manager for the Victoria Parks and Recreation Department. Contact him at 361-485-3200 or or follow us on Facebook at Victoria Parks Recreation.



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