CHRIS DUQUE — Get ready for Christmas on the Avenue, Lighted Christmas Parade in Nederland

Published 12:24 am Friday, December 1, 2023

This year, as a community, we celebrate the holidays with the City of Nederland’s 15th Annual Christmas on the Avenue event on Saturday (Dec. 2) and the Nederland Chamber of Commerce’s 17th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Tuesday (Dec. 5).

Christmas on the Avenue is held on Boston Avenue between 13th Street and 17th Street from noon to 7 p.m.

There will be numerous activities for children and families; for your Christmas shopping, visit the Boston Avenue businesses and the numerous vendors between 13th Street, and the windmill.

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If you are looking for something to eat, there will be several food and snack vendors; pictures with Santa Claus will be available at the Police Station (Lori Lens Photography will be taking pictures and has various picture package). At 6 p.m., all activities move to Tex Ritter Park for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 5), and the parade route is from 21st Street down Nederland Avenue, turning onto North 12th Street and turning on Boston Avenue, and ending in front of Central Middle School.

This year’s parade will retain the safety procedures adopted last year, namely candy will only be thrown by the float walkers. Unfortunately, there have been serious safety issues with children running in front of parade floats that have necessitated changes to safety procedures.

We urge all parents to ensure their children do not run into road while the parade is still moving. In addition, parade participants who park inside the parade route (by the football stadium, the CMS band hall, etc.) cannot leave until the parade has ended.

In addition, the Nederland Economic Development Corporation is holding “Twelve Days of Christmas Giving” until Dec. 10. If you shop at a local Nederland business and spend a minimum of $35, then drop off a copy of the receipt in an envelope at the NEDC Office (1519 Boston Ave) with your name on the envelope (only 2 entries per person), and gasoline and grocery receipts are not allowed.

The NEDC will draw the envelopes with 12 Christmas baskets up for grabs.

Giving Back

For many of us, the month of December is the happiest month of the year. People celebrate important holidays, including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

Sadly, there are far too many people who struggle to feel the spirit and joy of the holidays. There are people without enough food on their table or without clothes, blankets and heaters for the winter.

There are children without any hope of a Christmas present. And there are senior citizens who are often forgotten at the holidays.

Fortunately, there are many opportunities for us to do our part to try to make someone’s holiday merry. The Community Care Prayer Outreach Center on Nederland Avenue accepts food, blankets and toys to help the less fortunate in Nederland.

CASA of Southeast Texas, Inc. organizes an event to provide presents to children in foster care.

“Be a Santa to a Senior” is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care to provide necessary items to local senior citizens.

There are also numerous local churches, non-profit organizations and local businesses that will be out during the month working to help the less fortunate.

As a parent, one of my favorite parts of Christmas is Santa Claus. As a parent, it can also be a concerning time because of your kid’s belief in Santa – are they too old to still believe and will other kids tease them for believing?

Santa Claus is much more than Tim Allen in the SANTA CLAUSE, Ed Asner in ELF or the guy at a mall. Santa Claus embodies our children’s innocence and our faith in mankind’s compassion and generosity.

As long as we are willing to help one another and give a toy, blanket, food, etc. to a stranger, Santa Claus will always be real.

Team contributions

I want to recognize and thank our City employees for their generosity to help the less fortunate.

In November, a toy drive was hosted, and the City employees donated a plentiful number of new toys that were donated to Community Care Prayer Outreach Center.

In December, the City will host a food drive, and we anticipate our employees to deliver again.

The City will also host a LifeShare blood drive Dec. 14; the LifeShare bus will be across from City Hall.

City Hall has “Be a Santa to a Senior” tags on the Christmas tree for those who want to help a senior citizen have a joyful holiday season.

Due to the Christmas Eve and Christmas holidays, City offices will be closed on Monday/Dec. 25 and Tuesday/Dec. 26.

For the week of Christmas, this will result in the garbage routes running one day behind the entire week (ex. Monday route delayed until Tuesday, Tuesday route delayed until Wednesday, etc.).

The City plans to have the Christmas dumpsters available, as well as the Christmas tree drop-off area.

From the City of Nederland, we want to wish the community a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the city manager’s Office at 409-723-1503.

Chris Duque is city manager for Nederland. He can be reached at CDuque@ci.nederland.tx.us.