Community members gathered Tuesday at the Hays County Historic Courthouse to celebrate the Hays County Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Above, Santa Claus, an elf and Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, and his wife Monica Becerra wave to the crowd on Tuesday. Below, Ruben Becerra, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, Precinct 2 Commissioner-elect Dr. Michelle Cohen, Anita Collins, Office of the County Judge Executive Assistant, and the Grinch celebrate after the lights on the courthouse were turned on during Tuesday's event. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo
LIGHTING THE COURTHOUSE: Hays County Holiday Lighting Ceremony takes place Tuesday
Community members gathered Tuesday at the Hays County Historic Courthouse to celebrate the Hays County Holiday Lighting Ceremony.
The Grinch, and his grumpy self, arrived just in time to flip the switch, helping Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe and Precinct 2 Commissioner-elect Dr. Michelle Cohen turn on the holiday lights at the courthouse on Tuesday.
“It’s such a wonderful time of the year to celebrate with everyone,” Ingalsbe said. “This is the first time that I’ve seen that there have been so many participants, and it’s just wonderful to see everybody here enjoying this time of the year.”
Added Cohen: “This is a wonderful event .... I can’t wait to see the Courthouse with the lights on, so it’s gonna be wonderful.”
With the help of the San Marcos Fire Department, Santa Claus arrived in a fire truck. Tuesday’s event also featured performances by the San Marcos High School jazz and mariachi bands, San Marcos High School Diamond Line and Dazzlers and Hays CISD’s Elm Grove Elementary Eagle Star Choir.
Hays County Sheriff’s Office was also in attendance to accept donations for its Brown Santa.
Pastor Jonafa Banbury spoke to the crowd about the Dunbar Heritage Association’s Kwanzaa celebration, which will include two in-person ceremonies on Dec. 26 at the county courthouse and the Dunbar Recreation Center on Jan. 1.
Becerra said he hopes to make the holiday lighting ceremony even bigger next year.
“My biggest hope is with every passing year for us to continue to grow the courthouse grounds to be free of charge to you to be a place where you can come and enjoy this space,” Becerra said. “This is your courthouse. These are your grounds. This is your downtown. This is your community. And so, I will continue — now that I have four more years — I will continue to build this, with the support of the commissioners court of course, so that you can have robust reason to come downtown whether it be Kwanzaa, Easter egg hunts, Cinco de Mayo festivals, lighting of the Christmas trees. Everything that we can do, we’re going to bring it to you.”