Turkey Day has come and gone, and the air is filling with Christmas cheer. Every year tens of thousands of Texans escape the city limits for the twinkling lights of quaint Texas towns. Why? Because small-town Texas does Christmas bigger than the sum of its parts. Brownwood is no exception. Our little city is alive with holiday cheer. From lights to Santa to real snow (!!), Brownwood – where the road feels like home – has tidings for all.
This coming weekend is packed with events to kick off the Christmas season. Our 10th Annual Christmas Under The Stars Parade & Festival starts this Thursday, December 6, at 6:30 pm. The Spirit of Christmas Lighted Parade brings more than 100 floats, horses, marching bands and classic cars together in a parade through downtown Brownwood.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
The cheer doesn’t stop there, oh no. Not when Santa is bringing his reindeer to Texas aboard the Polar Express!
Santa makes Brownwood home base for the weekend for our Christmas Festival, held at the Depot Plaza Friday and Saturday from 4 pm to 8 pm. He’ll feel right at home on Snow Mountain with real, live snow (!!) merrily watching friends and families enjoy the festival. Tidings include: a snow slide, treats for Santa, food vendors, children’s activities and crafts, big wheel races, snowball fights, mini train rides, live music, and more.
Earn a guaranteed spot on the nice list by entering baked goodies in our “Treats for Santa” contest. Categories include pies, cakes, bars, cookies, bread, and muffins. Scoring for each treat is based on taste, appearance and originality.
The Lights of Brownwood
The spirit of Christmas doesn’t end with the festival. All over town, and through Christmas, the city offers festive lights displays. Grab a thermos of hot cocoa or eggnog, pack up some sweet and savory treats for the family, and make a night of light-seeing in Brownwood. Here are the holiday highlights.
Do your best Ho-Ho-Ho under the lit “echo star” in downtown’s Pat Coursey Park. Sip and stroll through historical lighting displays along Center Avenue. Take a mini-train ride and snap a photo of the Lehnis Railroad Museum’s silo which is lit up for the holidays. (Note: train rides are only available during regular operating hours.) Take a picnic basket, blankets and your best Christmas playlist to enjoy at the Depot and Civic Cultural Center which will have a 30-foot live tree, as well as small displays around the parking lot. See the nativity scene at Howard Payne University. Take a ghosts-of-Christmas-past driving tour through Greenleaf Cemetery’s Trail of Lights. The peaceful drive through hundreds of lights, is available two weekends only (December 14-15 and December 21-23) from 6-8 pm and is a suggested $6-per-car donation. Enter at Hwy 377 Gate/ Exit at Center Street Gate.
Here We Come A-wassailing
Christmas carols are heard on high in Brownwood. St. John’s Church feature HPU’s Heritage Dingers as they sing coordinated songs to scriptures in St. John’s Church’s annual Nine Lessons and Carols. HPU will also fill the Lyric Theatre with the sounds of the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah and a full orchestra at 7:30 pm on December 4.
The Lyric Theatre’s popular slapstick holiday production, Yee-Haw Holiday, opens on Friday, December 7. The family-friendly show, which will have eight total performances, lasts approximately 1.5 hours with a 15-minute intermission and costs $15 per person.
Santa Goes Camping!
Lake Brownwood State Park is excited to present “Holiday at the Lake” on Saturday, December 22 from 7 pm to 9 pm. Get the family out of the house before the madness of Christmas week for toy making and campfire talks. Indulge in hot chocolate and cider, coffee, cookies. Guess what? Santa also likes to camp! He’ll by standing by to for one last chance to learn what’s at the top of the kiddos’ list. (Overnight campers are encouraged to decorate their sites in celebration). The event is located in the park’s Group Recreation Hall and is free with paid day use ($4 per person 13 and older, 12 and younger are free).
Christmas Fete & Feast
Keen to enjoy a night out of the kitchen? Head to the Turtle Restaurant in downtown Brownwood, where Mary Stanley puts on a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner experience with seven courses of excellent seafood from 5 pm to 9 pm on Christmas Eve.
We hope to see you around this Holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at the City of Brownwood.