• Jennifer Spies waves from the Segner's Jewelers float to the crowd that lined Main Street on Friday night for the Light The Night Christmas Parade. More parade pictures as well as other photographs from the many weekend events will be included in this week's issue of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

Christmas parade growth a big draw

From humble beginnings, event has grown to welcome thousands

What a difference 20 years makes. Sammy Segner, one of the organizers of the first Christmas parade held here in 1994, remembered with our longtime staffer, Yvonne Hartmann there were four parade entries that year. Those floats went around Market Square twice and that was that.

Fast forward to 2017, and thousands of people — an amount rivaling busy nights for the town’s largest events — lined Main Street and crowded Marktplatz to watch a parade that seemed to have miles and miles of float entries. For the past few years, CBS Austin (formerly KEYE) has streamed the event to households in Austin, giving that market a taste of small town Americana.

With the large crowds and festive atmosphere around the light-wrapped trees in our town’s historic square, Fredericksburg showed Central Texas its substantial Christmas cheer. The mild weather certainly didn’t hurt the turnout either. And the previous weekend saw more folks turn out for the annual Christmas tree lighting.

Fredericksburg combines holiday decor, German traditions and about four weeks of holiday entertainment to give locals and visitors more than a few reasons to celebrate Christmas cheer in town. The 30-foot Christmas tree, a 26-foot German Christmas pyramid and Eisbahn skating rink anchor the festivities, augmented by the ever-present Main Street shopping environment and, of course, wine and beer to add to the jovial atmosphere.

It’s no wonder that Fredericksburg was recognized recently as one of the “Best Small Towns for Christmas in the South” by Southern Living magazine. The publication highlighted the town’s “old-fashioned celebrations,” “nostalgic downtown shopping” and “no shortage of activities for the whole family to enjoy.”

Everyone involved, from those early organizers, to the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce staff and volunteers, to the city crews who string lights and assemble the attractions, deserves big kudos. Fredericksburg has many blessings to count and growing Christmas attractions adds to them.

Merry Christmas und Fröliche Weihnachten. – K.E.C.

Fredericksburg Standard

P.O. Box 1639
Fredericksburg, TX 78624-4228