By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Whatever turkey leftovers there were should be just about gobbled up entirely by now, too. And now that Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rearview mirror it’s time to prepare for what’s next.
Pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice are being replaced with peppermint, cinnamon and the scent of pine trees. The sound of ringing bells has begun to fill the air, as have Christmas carols. A good chunk of the local Walmart has been converted into a winter wonderland filled with whimsical inflatable yard decorations, artificial Christmas trees, sparkling ornaments, colorful rolls of wrapping paper and every conceivable kind of Christmas light — from the comically large to the firefly small.
Christmas is in the air, and it’s not just at your favorite store or coffee shop; the Christmas spirit has begun to spread across the Laguna Madre region, too. Already, I’ve seen several houses festively decorated with smiling snowmen, twinkling lights and more.
The list of holiday-themed things to do is growing, too. This year promises to offer as much Christmas fun as you think you can handle.
Things kick off this weekend on South Padre Island with its annual Christmas tree lighting and Christmas parade down Padre Boulevard. I must apologize to Island residents, however, as a slip of my fingers last week caused me to list the wrong date for the two events. Thank you to those keen-sighted readers who reached out after catching the error.
The tree lighting and parade will take place this week, on Friday, Dec. 1. Join Island officials at City Hall for the tree lighting, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. The parade is set to follow at 6 p.m.
Fans of twinkling Christmas lights will want to stick close by, though, because the following evening, Saturday, Dec. 2, the SPI Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to host the lighted boat parade.
Each year, captains from around the area deck their boat decks in proverbial bows of holly for this perennially popular event. Spectators can catch unfettered views of the ephemerally decorated watercraft at any mainland or Island bayside venue as the procession makes its way from Southpoint Marina in Port Isabel to Jim’s Pier on South Padre Island. The parade begins at 6 p.m.
And speaking of houses that display holiday cheer, the Town of Laguna Vista will be hosting its annual Christmas House Decorating Contest. Take a gander at the homes in this quiet community sometime after 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, because that’s the deadline for homeowners to apply the finishing touches on their holiday décor.
The City of Port Isabel is gearing up for a bigger and better holiday celebration, as well. For the first time ever, the City will host a Christmas parade of its own.
The 1st Annual Hometown Holiday Parade will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Participants will make their way from the Laguna Madre Youth Center on Port Road, east along Queen Isabella Boulevard (Highway 100) before arriving at the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center. Afterwards, everyone is invited to make their way to Beulah Lee Park for the annual Christmas tree lighting from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
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