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Mid-County rings in holiday season this weekend

 

Christmas is coming Mid-County this weekend with a full slate of activities designed to spread holiday cheer in a fun-filled family atmosphere.

From parades, to caroling, lighting Christmas trees and even ice-skating, there is plenty to choose from starting Friday in Groves.

From 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. the Lighting of the Groves City Christmas Tree and An Old Fashioned Christmas in Groves will be at Celebration Park, 4411 Lincoln Ave.

To compliment the tree lighting ceremony, the BC Brass will entertain crowds along with the Groves Elementary Treble Tribe Choir.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will have a live nativity.

Santa Claus will be on hand with his workshop and elves for photo taking and wish list giving opportunities.

Around 6:30 p.m. those attending will move into Celebration Park for the tree lighting ceremony. Mayor pro tem Karen Theis will flip the switch “on” to light the City Christmas Tree.

Downtown shops will be open for shoppers.

There will also be games, crafts, and children can mail their letters to Santa.

Food vendors will offer items such as gumbo, pizza, links and tacos. Inside the Courtyard Café a buffet will be served.

Groves Chamber of Commerce members will sell homemade pecan pies.

“We are looking for beautiful weather. Its going to be a bit chilly, which is how it needs to be,” Debbie Snell, Groves Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant, said.

Yuletide festivities continue on Saturday in Nederland with the 8th annual Christmas on the Avenue. The event begins at 1 p.m. in Tex Ritter Park on Boston Avenue.

Christmas on the Avenue started in 2008 as a small event at the old City Hall, and has expanded tremendously.

“We are going to be just Christmas crazy in Nederland,” Angela Fanette, director of Nederland’s Parks and Recreation said.

The event includes food vendors, free pony rides, free ice-skating, a snowflake search contest and children’s activities.

Vendors will start selling their goods at 1 p.m. along Boston Avenue. Many of he downtown shops will be open for Christmas shopping.

Photos with Santa will also be available at the Homer E. Nagel Public Safety Complex on Boston Avenue in the Old City Hall building.

Throughout the day, various contests and games are scheduled including the popular Snowflake Search for children ages 16 and under. Prizes for the Snowflake Search range from an iPad mini to a Nintendo WiiU.

Christmas on the Avenue will include a free petting zoo and free pony rides.

And, for the first time this year, an Ice Skating Rink is part of the festivities at no cost for those who want to get out on the ice.

Also on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., the city of Port Neches will have its annual Christmas Parade. This year’s event will return to it the starting point at Port Neches Avenue and end at Port Neches Riverfront Park, 620 Grigsby.

Parade marshal is the Rev. David Mahfouz, pastor of First Baptist Church in Port Neches.

At 6 p.m., activities will move down to Tex Ritter Park, where the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be. School groups will be on the Avenue to help celebrate as well as local church leaders who are invited to share their message.

Snowflake Search winners and Essay Contest winners will be announced during this time.

And, perhaps, best of all, there is snow in the forecast.

At approximately 6:15 p.m. those attending will have the opportunity to play in snow, and to take photographs doing so.

Christmas fun continues in Groves at 6 p.m. Saturday with the annual Groves Lighted Christmas Parade.

Lineup begins at 5 p.m. at Terrell Street and Cleveland Avenue.

The parade features marching bands, Indian Spirit, and Santa riding in the fire truck at the end of the parade.

The parade route starts at Cleveland Avenue, goes down 39th Street and ends at Gulf Avenue.

On Sunday, at 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1911 Nederland Ave., will present “Light! Out of the Darkness,” a Christmas drama and musical. Admission is free. For more information contact the church at 409-722-0263 or visit the church’s website at fbcnederland.com.

Also on Sunday, Children of the United Methodist Temple will present “An Unplugged Christmas,” a musical experience designed to remind everyone of the true reason for the season. The musical will be presented during the 9 a.m. and 11:05 a.m. services.

Directed by Robin Shelden, the program follows the story of a group of friends hoping to win a contest to have the biggest and brightest Christmas show ever.

E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com

Twitter:skooncePANews