“Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town!” Santa Claus is coming to town on December 4th through 6th for the 22nd annual “Sights and Sounds of Christmas”. Thousands of people will crowd the San Marcos City Park and Plaza from 6-11 PM each night to see not only Santa and Mrs. Claus, but to find themselves walking in San Marcos’ very own winter wonderland. The Sights and Sounds of Christmas Incorporated, a group of people who plans the event, offers a list of activities for people to enjoy – a list nearly as long as a child’s Christmas wish list to Santa!
The Sights and Sounds of Christmas Incorporated meets throughout the year and works on planning the activities. Jackie Cable, the former president of Sights and Sounds of Christmas Incorporated (Director of Parks and Recreation Rodney Cobb is now president) said the group is, “for the purpose of planning and implementing Sights and Sounds of Christmas. The goal is to provide a free admission event for community citizens, especially children, as a gift.”
The entertainment ranges from listening to Christmas carols sung by local school choirs and bands, to various performing groups from the University. Dance teams will also be performing and the Sahawee Indians will interpret traditional Native American dance music.
“Sights and Sounds brings the community together from the young to the old to celebrate the season,” said Carla Sisk.
“Sugar Plum Theatre”, presented by the San Marcos Public Library, will give young children a chance to watch puppet shows, clowns, and magic tricks. If the kids have been nice this year, they may also want to give Santa a visit and tell him what is on their Christmas list. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the fish-hatchery porch each night from 6 to 9 PM. Time Warner Cable is sponsoring and providing the one free photo with Santa deal, additional photos will cost.
Not only is the admission and entertainment free (the Arts/Crafts and Food Booths cost), but parking will be offered at no cost at the Texas State University parking lots along with a free shuttle every 15 minutes from 5:00 until 11:00 p.m.
Arts and Crafts booths will be set up to satisfy the shopper’s needs and to perhaps get the Christmas shopping done early. Also, several non-profit groups, sports groups, and scout troops will run the food booths and the funds are used to help with each organization. The smell of kettle corn, funnel cakes, coffee, and hot chocolate will permeate the air as people stand in line at the dozens of food booths that are expected this year. One of the hot items each year are the campfire biscuits, which Jackie Cable said, are, “served with butter and honey and are the most popular and wonderful thing!”
The Sights and Sounds event will also have an area set up with a live nativity scene. Cable described the Bethlehem scene, in which several local churches organize, saying the nativity includes a donkey, sheep, and camel. She said there are also “angels on the wall as you enter the city”.
Ed Green was dressed as a wise man in the city of Bethlehem scene and said, “I am impersonating a wise man, though I have questioned myself that if I was really a wise man, would I be standing here in the cold?” He laughed, but said, “That’s just a joke-but I’m glad I’m here.” Green also added, “It’s a blessing to be out there and to see all the people – the whole reason is because of Jesus’ birthday.”
What would the Christmas holiday be without Christmas lights? Hundreds of thousands of lights will be sprinkled across the trees, creating a picture-perfect scene as the twinkling lights are reflected off of the San Marcos River. One might imagine hearing the song “O Chrismas Tree! O Christmas Tree!” being sung in the distance as people stand underneath the artificial Christmas tree designed by Robert Cotner of “Cotner Electric”. Towering seventy feet tall, Jackie Cable said the kids love to “stand under that tree and twirl.”
In order for these three days of festivities to occur, volunteers are needed. Cable discussed the importance of volunteering, saying the event “requires thousands of volunteer hours-it couldn’t be done otherwise.” Volunteers will be needed “the entire week of the event”, said Cable, and the setting up will begin on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Cable said people can even “just show up” to volunteer at the times of the event. (For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Heather Powdrill at HPowdrill@ci.san-marcos.tx.us )
Regarding the Sights and Sounds of Christmas event, Hill said, “All of Sights and Sounds is about family, having fun, and celebrating the beginning of the holidays.”
When asking Jackie Cable, who has been the president of the planning committee and been involved with the Sights and Sounds of Christmas event for several years, about her favorite memory, she said, “That’s easy-the eyes of the children and when their little jaws open and their eyes dance,” said Cable. “It makes it all worthwhile.”
To view the schedule of events or for more information visit the Sights and Sounds’ website at www.sights-n-sounds.org
by Lindsey Bland
Hernandez Middle School students sing Christmas carols.
New bridge over San Marcos River
Santa pays a visit
Photo Credits: Christina Zambrano