PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

December 4, 2013

Weekend weather forces Christmas event cancellations

— A forecast of cold and wet weather is putting a damper on Christmas activities this weekend, enough to force the cancellation of numerous Yuletide festivities.

Most scheduled Christmas events in Groves, Port Neches, Bridge City, and possibly Nederland, this weekend have been canceled, though some of the activities will proceed as planned.

National Weather Forecasters have predicted a slow-moving cold front to reach Southeast Texas beginning Thursday, and with it rain.

“It’s not going to be a good weekend to be outside,” Donald Jones, meteorologist with the Lake Charles National Weather Service office, said.

The city of Groves will have it’s tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday in Celebration Park, but the Old Fashioned Christmas scheduled to follow in downtown Groves is canceled.

Groves’ Saturday Christmas parade is also canceled.

There are no plans to reschedule either event,’ Debbie Snell, administrative assistant with the Groves Chamber of Commerce, said.

This year’s cancellation of the parade marks only the second time the event has not happened in 20 years, Snell said.

Port Neches officials have also decided to cancel the city’s annual Christmas parade, and has no plans to reschedule.

Debbie Plaia, Port Neches Chamber of Commerce executive director, said rescheduling would likely conflict with other parades scheduled for later in December.

Even though the city will not have its annual parade, there are still plenty of holiday lights to see, including those twinkling in Riverfront Park for the Second Annual Christmas Cards in the Park.

“It’s nice because you can drive through with the kids,” Plaia said, adding that the event has grown this year to include 18 hand-painted cards by local artists.

Each card is fashioned on wood, is lit, and sponsored by local businesses.

Port Neches Avenue and many homes in the city are lit up, she said.

Bridge City has opted to postpone the city’s 5th Annual Electric Light Christmas Parade to Dec. 14.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and applications will continue to be available at www.BridgeCityChamber.com or by calling 409-735-5671.

The city of Nederland is still watching the weekend weather forecast before making a final decision about Saturday’s Annual Christmas on the Avenue events.

“We are still determining whether all the activities scheduled for Saturday are still going to move forward or not,” Chris Duque, Nederland city manager, said.

The city has decided to go ahead with pictures with Santa scheduled to start at noon Saturday at City Hall, as well as the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Tex Ritter Park.

Nederland city officials are expected to provide more information about the weekend’s event’s Thursday.

Nederland’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for Dec. 10 while Port Arthur will have its Lighted Holiday Parade on Dec. 14.

For those weekend events still ongoing, warm clothing is advised. The NWS latest weather forecast is predicting a chilly weekend.

Rain is predicted to move into the area Thursday, and by Friday temperatures will start to drop.

Friday’s high will reach about 53 before the front moves in. By Saturday the high is forecast to only reach 43, with a low of 36.

“We will have off and on showers, probably not any thunderstorms,” Jones said. “We will be dealing with the rain continuing though Sunday, and not tapering off until Sunday night or Monday morning.”

The weather pattern will be similar to that occurring two weekends ago, Jones said.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

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