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Sulphur Springs Lit Up With Holiday Cheer For Annual Christmas Parade, Visits With Santa, Tree Lighting

Sulphur Springs lit up with holiday cheer Friday night for the annual Christmas Parade and Christmas on the square.

Light poles along Connally and Main Street wrapped in red and white lights shone bright while trees along those streets also were dressed with shiny balls in holiday colors, all guiding people toward Celebration Plaza. The crown jewel of the city, the downtown square boasts the city’s official Christmas Tree, which was lit, signaling the official start of the Christmas season and growing anticipation for the Lions Club’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade. Families were invited by the Chamber of Commerce to stop by to let the kids visit with Santa before he headed to the park to take his place in the bucket of Sulphur Springs Fire Department’s tower truck.

And, the day began downtown with the return of the CASA Cookie Walk, to raise funds to benefit children removed from their homes due to allegations of abuse or neglect. The cookie walk offered at least three lines of tables loaded with cookies prepared and donated by community members, school and civic groups and businesses. Any and all were welcomed to stop by, grab a container and select as many edible Christmas cookies as they wanted for a donation of $5 a pound or more. Volunteers at the Cookie Walk said people were incredibly generous and seemed to enjoy selecting cookies. Only part of a table of cookies remained at 11:30 a.m. Friday, and contributors continued to arrive through the noon close of the event to help empty even more of the trays and donate funds to the organization..

The Blue Santa Toy Drive also continued Friday, through the parade, to add to their growing collection of toys and others contributed funds so that more toys can be purchased to ensure all kids have gifts on Christmas morning. Some vendors set up under tents on the square Friday afternoon to offer items for visitors.

Not even a day of light drizzle could dampen the festivities as families, groups, couples and friends began gathering along the parade route Friday night. People bundled the little ones into hooded jackets, walking and pushing strollers and began heading toward downtown, Connally, Church and Houston Streets to claim favorite and optimum vantage points so they could be sure not to miss any of the parade procession. As the area behind the barricades began filling, neighbors greeted one another, friends called out to share the atmosphere and merriment of the season. In the spirit of Christmas, all were courteous, some enjoying meeting and greeting new friends, watching out for one another, especially children excited.

Among the participants in the Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored once again by Carriage House Manor, were school groups, including Sulphur Springs and Como-Pickton bands and cheerleaders, Water Oak school group, churches, the always fun Rocker-ettes, financial institutions, clubs and civic groups, Blue Santa, Santa Claus, sheriff’s and police department personnel, sanitation groups, wrecker services, a big rig, local pageant royalty such as Ms. Hopkins County Senior and the Dairy Festival Queen, a martial arts group, fire trucks and departments and other businesses.

The procession featured the Sulphur Springs “Lion,” a haybale with a lion face and twigs from shrubbery as his mane; many floats, cars atop which local pageant winners sat waving, children singing Christmas music and calling out Christmas greetings, award winning bands performing as they marched, cheerleaders and high stepping dance lines calling out Christmas wishes, Jeeps, truck pulling trailers decorated and participants in costume to reflect their group’s theme. Blue Santa’s helpers walked alongside and behind the program parade conveyance while Blue Santa and the Cowboy Grinch walked ahead waving, calling greetings and accepting donations of unwrapped, new toys to benefit Hopkins County children ages 1-14 in financially disadvantaged families. Blue Santa also before the parade moved their tent to the courthouse to offer brisket sandwiches and take donations of toys and money to buy toys for those children.

Overall, the Christmas Parade provided approximately 40 minutes of holiday cheer for all to enjoy. Children clapped in glee pure joy at the wonder of lights. The only mildly startling moments were when emergency personnel and big rigs sounded horns and sirens on their vehicles.

The holiday celebrations continue this weekend in Sulphur Springs with the Christmas Market Saturday, the Northeast Texas Choral Society’s 25th anniversary Christmas concert entitled Silver Bells Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and Christmas in the Park Saturday evening. And, if that’s not enough local merchants are stocked up with items that’d make great Christmas gifts as well. Local bands and choirs will be performing at Christmas in the Park and local venues over the next 2 weeks of school before classes let out for Christmas break. And these are only some of the holiday activities available in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County during the Christmas season.

Author: KSST Contributor

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