Rec Room: Fall fun features haunted hayrides, concerts, Christmas parade

Sept. 25, 2011 at 4:25 a.m.

By Shane Simon

Thanks to a similarly titled song by Robert Earl Keen, we have a saying within the Victoria Parks and Recreation, "The events go on forever and the planning never ends."

Believe it or not, planning begins a year in advance on almost all of our events especially those that re-occur each year. It happens to all of us - great ideas come to mind, and the recreation staff is constantly logging these ideas for future use. One such idea will materialize Oct. 29 in the form of a Haunted Halloween Hayride. Almost everyone has been to a haunted house, but few, if any, have been through the creepy blindness and spooky hollows of the Guadalupe River bottom at night. Being on a hayride only adds to the fear because there is no place to run and no place to hide. Because we are hosting this event with the Texas Zoo, there is also a place for the "scaredy cats" to enjoy themselves.

Another wonderful idea has now allowed staff to put two exciting events in one place. Traditionally, we have held the Christmas Lighted Parade in the first weekend in December and Christmas in the Park the next weekend. This year we are going to combine the two and host them back-to-back at Deleon Plaza. Christmas in the Park will be Dec. 2 and will include a lighting ceremony for downtown, along with fun activities for the family and visits with Santa. The following night, we will host our annual Lighted Christmas Parade. We have impatiently waited three years to be back downtown and are now making preparations to accommodate more than 120 parade entries and 15,000 spectators.

Big ideas do not always mean big events, and there is often enjoyment in simplicity. This is how I would categorize our newest event, Tunes@Noon, which features live entertainment at the bandstand at Deleon Plaza. On the final Friday of every month, we welcome everyone to bring a lunch and hang out with friends and coworkers while enjoying the local bands Victoria has to offer. So put down the paper, grab the writing instrument of your choice and mark your calendars now, because you will not want to miss any of these upcoming events.

P.S. Parade Entry Registration Forms are available at and are being accepted now through Nov. 18.

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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