The Christmas season will officially open in Sulphur Springs this week with events continuing through the weekend.
For the first time in many years, the weather seems poised to deliver winter-like conditions later this week and on the weekend.
“It's a winter time event, and it looks like it's going to be winter time weather,” said Joey Baker, city tourism director. “So, put on your winter time coats, come out and have a fun evening.”
Baker said that, based on weather forecasts, he did not expect the weather to have any untoward impact on this weekend's activities.
“At this point, I expect people to react accordingly and make the safe choice,” he said. “We are planning to go ahead with the event regardless of how the weather forecast looks.”
One of the highlights of the Christmas event will be Santa Claus in Sulphur Springs Lions Club’s Christmas Lights Parade that starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The route for the parade will be the same as previous years, starting at Buford Park and moving east on Connally Street to the square then north on Church Street and turning left on Houston Street and back to Buford Park.
City officials say that the portion of Connally adjacent to the new city hall that has been closed for construction for the past few weeks will be opened in time for the parade. There will be a new smooth layer of asphalt on the street in the construction area.
The annual Christmas in the Park will be open in Heritage Park on Jackson Street from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday as well.
“We will have the Downtown Business Alliance trolly running between the square and Heritage Park,” Baker said. “As soon as it gets out of the parade — it's one of the floats in the parade — it is going to go to work making circles between the square and Heritage Park.”
On the square will be the snow slide, white tigers, pony rides, a petting zoo and bounce houses, as well as some vendors with holiday fare.
“All the restaurants downtown will be open and some of the retail businesses will be open,” Baker said. “So, it should be a fun evening for everybody.”
In addition, the Foxie Fillies Red Hat Society members will be go Christmas caroling downtown at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5.
The Lights of Life tree lighting ceremony and visit from Santa Claus is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Gardens at Memorial at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital.
The North East Texas Choral Society will have concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Lake Fork Baptist Church, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Civic Center.
Echo Publishing will take free photos with Santa from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the News-Telegram office, 401 Church St. The photos will be printed while you wait.