November 30, 2013

Christmastime in Bastrop County - 2013

Now that the turkey has been devoured and the Black Friday deals hidden away from prying eyes, it’s time to dive into the Christmas season! It’s amazing how much Bastrop County has to offer at this time of year – not one, not two, but THREE lighted parades, oodles of unique holiday shopping opportunities, amazing light displays, and more seasonal performances than you can shake a candy cane at. So put the cookies in the oven, play your favorite Christmas carols, and get your calendar out to make sure you don’t miss any of the fun!


Christmas Parades and Festivals


  • Dec. 7th - Festival of Lights in Smithville. This day-long event kicks off at 9:00 am with the Gingerbread Man 5K/1M Fun Run/Walk through the streets of Smithville, and is followed by a slew of activities in downtown Smithville. Attendees can enjoy artisan booths, festival food and drink, live entertainment, kids’ fest, “A Dickens Christmas” performance, and much more. The fun culminates in a Lighted Parade just after dark, complete with Santa. For more details, click here.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Holiday by the Tracks at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Elgin. From 9:00 am until 3:00 pm there will be tons of holiday fun at this event, including live music and entertainment, a holiday bazaar, farmer’s market, pictures with Santa Claus, and more. At the end of the day, watch the Lighted Christmas Parade as it winds its way through downtown Elgin, followed by a live Nativity performed by St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.
     
  • Dec. 14th - Lost Pines Christmas and "A Down Home Christmas" Lighted Christmas Parade down Main Street in downtown Bastrop, beginning at approximately 6:00 pm. This extremely popular annual event is a celebration of all things Christmas with amazing floats, bands, fire engines, horses and riders, and, of course, Santa and his helpers. Come early to get a good spot to get a good view of all the amazing lights! This is just one event during the fun-filled “Lost Pines Christmas” weekend in Bastrop – see below for more information on other activities.

 

Christmas Lights

 
  • Nov. 29th - Dec. 31st - The River of Lights starting at Fisherman’s Park in Bastrop. Take a walk through a wonderland of Christmas lights and displays along the Colorado River; open nightly from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
     
  • Nov. 29th - Dec. 28th - Lights of Tejas at Camp Tejas, 1038 PR 2191 in Giddings. So, technically Camp Tejas is in neighboring Lee County, not Bastrop County, but how could we neglect to mention an event where you can check out over one million Christmas lights? Come see the camp as it’s turned into a winter wonderland, complete with hayrides, light shows, a Christmas tree forest, a light maze, and much more. The evening’s central experience is a Gospel presentation on the lake that utilizes 250,000 of those aforementioned Christmas lights. Many activities are free with admission, but some will cost a small additional fee (food and drink, midway games, climbing wall, zip line, bounce house, face painting, and Christmas cookie/ornament decoration). You can also enjoy the camp for a little longer with a stay at the on-site bed and breakfast. General admission is $8.00 for ages 12 to adult and $4.00 for children ages 3 to 12 (2 years old and under are free). Lights of Tejas is open from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on the following dates: November 29, 30, December 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, and 28.
     
  • Dec. 6th - 25th - Star Ranch Christmas Light and Sound Show at Star Ranch, 166 Eely Road in McDade (follow the signs from Highway 290). This FREE event, in its seventh year, features a huge synchronized light and music display, a trail of lights, bounce house, photo opportunities, and more. This event runs from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on the following dates: December 6, 7, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, and 25.

 

Deck the Halls

 
  • Nov. 29th - Christmas Eve – Choose and Cut your own Christmas tree at the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature's Way in Elgin, or Evergreen Farms, 242 Monkey Road in Elgin. Each of these farms provides a memorable experience for your family as you get to select your favorite live tree from their fields, then cut it down to take home and decorate. 
     
  • Dec. 26th - Jan. 7th - Christmas Tree Recycling at the Park and Ride lot on Highway 95 North in Elgin. After all the Christmas fun is over, be sure and drop your tree off to be recycled as mulch at this 24 hour-a-day site. Of course, you need to remove all ornaments, lights and tinsel before dropping your tree off, and they cannot accept flocked trees.

 

Holiday Performances


  • Dec. 6th - Dec. 21st - "A Christmas Carol" at Playhouse Smithville, 110 Main Street in Smithville. It’s time for some Victorian Christmas cheer with this production based on the classic Charles Dickens story. Tickets are $10 each; call 512-360-7397 or click on the link above for exact show dates and times.
     
  • Dec. 7th & 8th - "Gloria in Excelsis" Christmas Concert at the Bastrop Christian Outreach Center, 1096 Highway 71, Bastrop. It’s an evening of classic Christmas music presented by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Orchestra; the concert starts at 7:30 pm on Dec. 7th and 4:00 pm on Dec. 8th. Tickets are $10 at the door, and ages five and under are free. Please call 512-321-7529 for more information.
     
  • Dec. 11th - Dinner and a Concert at the Cedar Creek United Methodist Church, 5635 FM 535 in Cedar Creek. Enjoy a wonderful meal and concert afterwards from the Cedar Creek UMC Handbell Choir. The concert will also include choral music and dulcimer accompaniment.  The dinner begins at 6:00 pm and the concert is at 7:00 pm. Tickets for adults are $6.00 each, children 10 and under are $4.00, and families of five or more pay $22.00 total.
     
  • Dec. 12th - 14th - Winter Concerts and Musical at the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Performing Arts Center (PAC), 1401 Cedar Street, Bastrop. Come out and enjoy some wonderful student performances, beginning on Dec. 12th with the Cedar Creek High School Band’s Winter Concert in the main auditorium. The following night, the Bastrop High School Choir will present its Christmas Concert, also in the main auditorium. Also, Bastrop High School Theater students will perform a Winter Musical in the Black Box Theater on all three evenings.  Performances start at 7:00 pm; for more information please call the PAC at 512-772-7800.
     
  • Dec. 12th - 15th - "Nutcracker: The Musical" at the Bastrop Opera House, 711 Spring Street in Bastrop. Performances are at 7:30 pm on Dec. 12th, 13th, and 14th and at 2:30 pm on Dec. 15th. Based on the classic Christmastime story and incorporating Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, this production follows the fantastic adventures of a young girl on Christmas Eve. Tickets are only $5 per person.
     
  • Dec. 14th - The Nutcracker for Children by Children ballet performance at the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Performing Arts Center (PAC), 1401 Cedar Street in Bastrop. D’Ette & Co. Dancers present a charming adaptation of this classic Christmas tale. The performance begins at 2:00 pm, and tickets are available online here or by calling 512-321-1314.

Pictures with Santa


  • Nov. 30th - Breakfast with Santa at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road, Cedar Creek; 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a special meet-and-greet and photographs. Holiday-themed activities, arts & crafts, a jump house, live music, and more. The cost is $29 for adults, $15 for ages 6-12 and complimentary for ages 5 and under. This event is open to guests as well as the public; reservations are required. For reservations, call 512-308-4860.
     
  • Nov. 30th - Santa Short Takes at All About You Portraits, 1751 Hwy 304, Smithville. 15-minute studio sessions with Santa. Collections beginning at $69.95. Call Marlene at 512-626-5986 for reservations or more info.
     
  • Dec. 3rd & 4th - Pictures with Santa at JR Krcmer/Farmers Insurance Agency, 1007 Main Street, downtown Bastrop; 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm both dates. They will send you your pictures via email free of charge!
     
  • Dec. 6th - Pictures with Santa at Giggle N Jump, 1102 College Street, Bastrop, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Bring your own camera. Activities included with price of admission.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Pictures with Santa at Holiday by the Tracks in Elgin, Veterans’ Memorial Park; 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Pictures with Santa at the Festival of Lights in downtown Smithville; 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Santa will be on the porch of the Railroad Museum, ready to say cheese!
     
  • Dec. 7th - Cookies with Santa at the Sugar Shack, 114 Loop 150 W, Bastrop. Presale tickets are $6.99; tickets purchased on the day of the event are $7.99. Spaces are limited.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Pet photos with Santa at Petco, 739 Hwy 71 W, Bastrop; 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Bring home a 4x6" photo in a keepsake frame. Proceeds from your $8.95 donation will help support pets in need.
     
  • Dec. 8th - Pictures with Santa at Giggle N Jump, 1102 College Street, Bastrop, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Bring your own camera or purchase prints from Maranda Crum Photography. Activities included with price of admission.
     
  • Dec. 11th - Pictures with Santa at Frontier Bank, 1213 Hwy 290 W, Elgin; 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Refreshments will be served.
     
  • Dec. 14th - Pet photos with Santa at Petco, 739 Hwy 71 W, Bastrop; 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Bring home a 4x6" photo in a keepsake frame. Proceeds from your $8.95 donation will help support pets in need.
     
  • Dec. 17th - 21st - Pictures with Santa at the Sugar Shack, 114 Loop 150 W, Bastrop. 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm or until all kids have seen Santa. Professional photos for $9.99.
     
  • Dec. 20th - Cookies with Santa at Giggle N Jump, 1102 College Street, Bastrop, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Bring your own camera or purchase prints from Maranda Crum Photography. Activities included with price of admission.
     
  • Dec. 22nd - Pictures with Santa at River Valley Christian Fellowship's "Classic Christmas" at the Bastrop Convention Center, 1408 Chestnut, Bastrop; 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. FREE pictures with Santa taken by RidgeDog Design & Photography before each service.

Shop ‘Til You Drop


  • Dec. 5th - 22nd - Shop, Rock and Stroll in downtown Bastrop.  Stores will be open extended hours (until 8:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon) for you to do some leisurely old-fashioned Christmas shopping. There will be special musical performances and other events to check out in the Main Street Marketplace at 921 Main Street, plus the concurrent First Friday Art Walk on Dec. 6th (be on the lookout for Mr. and Mrs. Claus that night). While you are strolling through downtown, be sure to take part in the Hunt for FestiviTREES; merchants will be displaying creative Christmas trees crafted from recycled materials. Vote for your favorite through Dec. 29th!
     
  • Dec. 12th - 15th - Bastrop Fine Arts Guild Winter Market at the corner of Main and Pine Streets, Bastrop. Shop from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm each day for wonderfully unique creations by local artists including paintings, drawings, glass, pottery, jewelry, and much more.
     
  • Dec. 14th - Christmas Street Market in downtown Bastrop, beginning at 9:00 am. Come and browse a multitude of specialty kiosks to find that perfect stocking stuffer (or perhaps a fun gift for yourself). Downtown stores will also be open for shopping and streets will be closed to automobile traffic to allow shoppers free reign of the best that Bastrop has to offer!

 

Festive Food and Drink

 
  • Nov. 30th - Breakfast with Santa at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road, Cedar Creek; 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a special meet-and-greet and photographs. Holiday-themed activities, arts & crafts, a jump house, live music, and more. The cost is $29 for adults, $15 for ages 6-12 and complimentary for ages 5 and under. This event is open to guests as well as the public; reservations are required. For reservations, call 512-308-4860.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Cookie Swap at the Elgin Civic Center. Who doesn’t love Christmas cookies?  Come join the folks from the Elgin Public Library for this old-fashioned cookie swap… bring a dozen or more cookies, plus some samples for others, and trade away for some wonderful homemade treats. The swap runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; call 512-281-5678 for more information.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Cookies with Santa at the Sugar Shack, 114 Loop 150 West in Bastrop. Participants get a large gingerbread man to decorate with the big guy, plus access to all the sprinkles, frosting, and toppings they need to make their wildest cookie dreams come true. Tickets are $6.99 in advance and $7.99 the day of the event.
     
  • Dec. 12th - Lost Pines Christmas Swirl starts at 921 Main Street, Bastrop. Join fellow wine aficionados on a circuit of wine tastings from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in downtown Bastrop. Ten different wineries will be represented, and each tasting will be paired with a delectable food treat from one of Bastrop’s great restaurants. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased in advance here.
     
  • Dec. 13th - Christmas Madrigal Dinner at the Lumberyard Music Hall, 1109 Main Street in Bastrop. Doors open at 7:00 pm and the dinner begins at 7:30 pm. The Bastrop Community Chorus and Orchestra, along with Bastrop High School’s “Patent Pending Improv” troupe, present an evening of Renaissance-themed feasting and fun. The $30 ticket (by reservation only; call 512-321-7529) includes a four-course feast and period musical entertainment.
     
  • Dec. 14th - Winter Celebration at the Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market, located at 1302 Chestnut Street in Bastrop (next to the Convention Center). Visit the market from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to celebrate winter with seasonal foods, handcrafted items, cooking demonstrations and more.
     
  • Dec. 20thCookies with Santa at Giggle N Jump, 1102 College Street, Bastrop, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Bring your own camera or purchase prints from Maranda Crum Photography. Activities included with price of admission.
     
  • Dec. 21st - Breakfast with Santa at the Bastrop Brewhouse, 601 Chestnut Street, Bastrop. Breakfast buffet from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, $12/person. Arts & crafts, cookie & ornament decorating, pictures with Santa, and more! Reservations are recommended.

 

Giving Back

 
Local law enforcement organizations are gearing up their “Santa” operations in December; it’s your chance to donate an unwrapped toy or gift for a child in need this Christmas season. Each program has different guidelines regarding application dates, residence requirements, etc. If you would like to apply for a child to receive gifts, please call the respective police departments at the numbers listed below.
 
  • OngoingBastrop Pink Santa is looking for unwrapped gift donations for children ages 2 through 18; drop boxes will be located at the First National Bank (main and Main Street branches), the Bastrop Police Department, Aqua Water, Austin Telco, Prosperity Bank, the Texas Grill, Atlas Chiropractic, Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, and Curves. Gift trees will be set up at First National Bank (main branch), the Texas Grill, and Walmart. You can also mail monetary donations to Bastrop Pink Santa, P.O. Box 881, Bastrop TX 78602. For more details, call 512-332-8600.
     
  • Ongoing - Elgin Blue Santa is collecting unwrapped toys for children ages 12 and under; donations may be taken to the Elgin Police Department at 202 Depot Street, Elgin TX 78621. For more details, call 512-285-5757.
     
  • Ongoing - Smithville Blue Santa is accepting unwrapped toys for children age 14 and under at the following locations: the Smithville Police Station, Smithville City Hall, the Smithville Recreation Center, and Brookshire Brothers. Donations can also be mailed to the Smithville Police Department at 105 NW 4th Street, Smithville TX 78957. Call 512-237-3228 for more information.

 

Parties & Special Events

 
  • Dec. 1st - Tree Of Angels Ceremony at the Calvary Episcopal Church, 603 Spring Street in Bastrop. This annual event, held from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, remembers victims of violent crime. Participants are encouraged to place an angel ornament on the tree to honor their loved one. The tree will then be displayed at the First National Bank, 489 Highway 71 West in Bastrop, during the holiday season.
     
  • Dec. 7th - Off Kilter Xmas Film Fest at Schulman Thaetres Lost Pines 8, 1600 Chestnut Street in Bastrop. View some side-splitting short movies about the holiday season, followed by a panel discussion featuring Jaston Williams (of “Greater Tuna” fame) and C.K. McFarland. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by contacting Janet Spencer at 504-914-7828; the event begins at 1:00 pm.
     
  • Dec. 8th - Elgin Christmas Home Tour at various homes throughout Elgin. There will also be a special stop at the Owl Wine Bar and Home Goods Store, where ticket holders will receive a free beverage. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Frontier Bank and Solid Grounds Coffee Venue. Tickets can also be purchased at all homes on the day of the event. Proceeds benefit Drive A Senior Elgin, formerly known as Elgin Caregivers.
     
  • Dec. 14th - Bastrop Holiday Homes Tour at various locations throughout Bastrop. One of the central events of the annual Lost Pines Christmas event, this tour takes you through some of Bastrop’s most interesting and unique historical homes, all decked out in their Christmas finery. The tour runs from noon to 5:00 pm, and tickets are $15 per person (children under 12 are free when accompanied by a paid adult). Tickets may be purchased at the Museum & Visitor Center of the Bastrop Historical Society, the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, or at the door of each of the event venues the day of the tour.
     
  • Dec. 14th - Christmas Open House at the Bastrop Public Library, 1100 Church Street in Bastrop. Visit the library from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm for a slew of holiday-themed activities for the whole family. There will be gingerbread house building (for kids 12 and under) from 10:30 am to noon; pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 11:30 am to 1:30pm; and musical entertainment from the First United Methodist Church Handbell Choir (10:30 pm to 11:00 am) and the Bastrop Community Orchestra (1:30 pm to 2:30 pm).
     
  • Dec. 14th - YMCA Kids' Fest at the Main Street Marketplace, 921 Main Street, downtown Bastrop. Join the Bastrop YMCA to create fun Christmas ornaments out of natural materials and watch a special performance by the members of the Y’s “Little Dancers” class. Event runs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and is free of charge.
     
  • Dec. 25th - Christmas Dance at Watterson Hall, 1179 Watterson Road in Red Rock. Come out and scoot your boots on Christmas night as Kenny Orts plays from 8:00 pm to midnight.

If you have any other events to add to the list, please email info@365bastrop.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment