Sights & Sounds of Christmas marked the beginning of the two-weekend festival by lighting City and Plaza parks on Wednesday. Above, Mayor Jane Hughson, Interim City Manager Stephanie Reyes, Santa Claus, Sights & Sounds representatives and guests poses for a photo after the lights in the park were lit. Below, onlookers view the lights after they were turned on. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo
ALL LIT UP: Sights & Sounds of Christmas marks festival's beginning with lighting event
Sights & Sounds of Christmas marked the beginning of the two-weekend festival by lighting City and Plaza parks.
The holiday-themed lights turned on with the flip of the switch Wednesday evening.
“As somebody who grew up in San Marcos here, Sights & Sounds is such an exciting time of the year,” said Stephanie Reyes, Interim City Manager, who was invited to help turn on the lights. “I couldn’t imagine San Marcos without Sights & Sounds. So, this is very, very special to be a part of it in this particular way.”
Sights & Sounds of Christmas — a two-weekend festival which began in 1987 — officially began Thursday night. The first weekend takes place through Saturday. The second weekend begins Thursday, Dec. 8 and ends on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Sights & Sounds hosted the Lighting of the Park, where volunteers and sponsors were also thanked for their help with the annual festival.
The City of San Marcos is this year’s title sponsor, which donated $100,000 for the event, according to Sights & Sounds. Presenting sponsors include La Cima, Chuck Nash Auto Group, CHRISTUS Health, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital - San Marcos and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Gold sponsors for this year’s Sights & Sounds include H-E-B, Astound Broadcast, McCoy’s Building Supply, Lions Club of San Marcos, Frost Bank and Tek Rescue.
Greater San Marcos Partnership, Schertz Bank & Trust, Hill Country Tech Guys, Sweetwater Promotions, Transdev, San Marcos Daily Record, Gary Jobs Corps, Jack’s Roadhouse and Nephew’s are silver sponsors. Sights & Sounds’ holly sponsors are Sign Crafters, Benchmark Insurance Group, Germer Insurance Services, Sage Capital Bank, Corridor Title, Greater Texas Credit Union, Mensor, Community Impact, Jane Hugshon, Embassy Suites, CobbFendley, Divided Sky Roofing & Solar, Ozona Bank and Gumby’s Pizza.
Each sponsor was recognized during Wednesday’s ceremony at Pauline Espinoza Community Hall with a plaque.
Sights & Sounds President Elva Zdeb also shared her appreciation for the many volunteers who have dedicated their time for this year’s festival.
“You can’t imagine how grateful we are for all of the things that this group of people have done for the community, for this event and for the hearts of the little ones who are growing within it,” Zdeb said. “I have to say thank you, especially to some of the volunteers that have worked really hard to make this what it is. I don’t know if you know but every one of us volunteer-year-round.”
Festivities each night take place between 5:30-11:30 p.m. at 401 E. Hopkins St. The event features activities for all ages, including a carnival; petting zoo; Santa’s gift shop; Town of Bethlehem, which provides a history of ancient Bethlehem; food court; scavenger hunt; and reindeer games, including life-size Jenga, giant Connect 4 and more.
Adults can partake in Christmas Spirits — a lounge boasting a full bar.
Performances will take place each night of the festival. Friday’s performances include Hays CISD’s Wallace Middle School and Simon Middle School. San Marcos Consolidated ISD’s DeZavala Elementary School, Goodnight Middle School Band and Miller Middle School Band will perform. Ace Pepper Band will be Friday’s headlining performance.
On Saturday, San Marcos Dance Studio and Advent Ridge Academy will perform. Hays CISD’s Lehman High School Choir will also perform. SMCISD’s Crockett Elementary Choir and Theatre Group will be featured Saturday. SMART Orchestra will headline Saturday night’s performances.
To see a full list of performances and times visit: https://sights-n-sounds.org/schedule.
Parking for Sights & Sounds can be found at the Mill Street parking lot across from Bobcat Stadium and behind Bobcat Village apartments. Shuttles will be picking up guests at this location.
Paid parking is available at 304 E. San Antonio St and at the First United Methodist Church, 129 W. Hutchison St. Shuttles will not be available at these locations.
Jingle Bell Run 5K & Kids K
Santa’s Jingle Bell Run will take place Saturday, Dec. 10. The 5K race, which is presented by Texas Health & Racquet Club, runs through downtown San Marcos. The race begins at San Marcos Plaza Park at Hutchison Street and CM Allen Parkway. The Kids K races through the Sights & Sounds Festival grounds.
To register to run or volunteer visit: https://sights-n-sounds.org/5k-run.