It’s beginning to look – and feel – at lot like Christmas, and it comes just in time for Brownwood’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade sponsored by Southside Church and the first Christmas Under the Stars festival tonight and Saturday night downtown.
Weather forecast calling for an overnight snow would only enhance the winter-wonderland appearance of a weekend filled with family activities.
No admission fees will be charged, officials with the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce said, although some of the booths being operated by nonprofit organizations will charge a $1 or $2 fee for participation.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum, and end at the coliseum after weaving through downtown. That’s when the festival will kick off, with booths and cabins in place from the area around the Depot Civic and Cultural Center to the Lehnis Railroad Museum and Red Cross parking lot, and then along the open area usually reserved for recreational vehicles.
Festival hours for both nights will be from 7 to 10 p.m.
The theme of the Lighted Christmas Parade preceding the opening night of the festival will be “Spirit of Christmas – Give Back to the Community.” The parade, sponsored for the first time by Southside Church, will feature the Salvation Army as its grand marshal.
Activities and booths planned for both nights include miniature Christmas village displays, a decorated Christmas tree contest, fire pit with Smores and storytelling, choirs, Christmas karaoke, "Road to Bethlehem” live nativity by Aldersgate Enrichment Center, character cutouts for pictures, photos with Santa on the caboose at the railroad museum, cookie decorating, ornament decorating, picture frame ornaments, reindeer food, pet bowl decorating, silent stocking auction, inflatable obstacle course, giant gingerbread house, live trees for sale, letters to Santa, showings of the Polar Express movie, Guitar Hero contests, cake walk, Choo Choo Christmas events at the railroad museum, paint ball tree decorating, pony rides, starlit trail of lights, and holiday treats and drinks.
As part of the weekend’s events, the Lehnis Museum will also hold grand opening for the Kress railroad depot building.