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2017-12-06 / Editorial

A ‘Floresville Country Christmas’ — were you there?

About politics and other things
By Elaine Kolodziej

Floresville celebrated a good old-fashioned country Christmas on Friday evening.

Perhaps the success of this event will answer the question about why Floresville can’t ever seem to have something beautiful for Christmas like other small towns. It just never seems to work, they say, but this year a leap of faith and a different approach seem to have proven them wrong.

In the past, the city and the chamber would schedule the downtown lighting event on a Saturday, with day-long activities on the courthouse square, culminating with turning on the Christmas lights at dusk. It was nice, but not what it could have been. Vendors were sparse and crowds limited to a few dozen throughout the day.

Then on another weekend on a Friday night, downtown businesses would open for “late-night shopping” and they would host their own Santa Claus visit.

Neither event was that spectacular.

Going into planning the Floresville Country Christmas this year, some were skeptical: “Would a combined event work?” “Why is it going to be held on a Friday instead of on a Saturday?”

One combined event could mean a larger celebration, showcasing our historic downtown and supporting local businesses. But a combined event would mean changes, and changes are sometimes difficult. It was a stretch, but the city of Floresville, the chamber of commerce, and the Wilson County News agreed to host a combined event on a Friday night in hopes of bringing folks together with a fun family event marking the beginning of the Christmas season.

Thanks to corporate sponsors H-E-B, Bealls, and Walmart, and local sponsors Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union and SouthTrust Bank, the evening was a smashing success.

A clear blue sky and a glowing full moon added to the ambience. Sounds of music resonated throughout downtown, as Jacob Kolodziej, Justin Gusky, and Becky Paul from Alamo City Brass opened the event. Crowds filled the courthouse lawn as the switch turned on the Christmas lights.

The clear, sharp tones of the brass musicians filled the air as they played throughout downtown while shoppers meandered from store to store enjoying the lights, the ambience, and Christmas cheer.

The highlight of Floresville’s Country Christmas, of course, was a much-anticipated visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, handing out toys to all the “good little girls and boys.” Other activities included decorating gingerbread cookies, painting rocks with inspirational messages, a performance by Drama Kids, and the Floresville South Elementary Choir.

Downtown stores and restaurants stayed open to enjoy standing-room-only crowds.

It was a night to remember. “We’ve never had such a successful event that included the downtown businesses,” said one longtime Floresville resident. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Mother Nature provided some absolutely gorgeous weather. (With apologies to Santa. He must have been sweltering as he was “dressed all in fur” complete with hat and boots.) While the “Texas snow” did not do the trick for Santa, it really delighted the youngsters!

All this came just weeks after the trauma and sadness following the Nov. 5 Sutherland Springs shootings. Floresville managed to come together with a show of faith and unity. Children were able to escape reality with a visit to Santa, decorate cookies, paint rocks, and do normal things. Life is good.

It was a night to remember, so let’s begin planning now for even bigger and better events, and get the support of the county in addition to the chamber, the city, and the newspaper.

God willing, even more will join in the fun and spread the word that Floresville is the place to welcome in the Christmas season.

Let’s recognize our unique downtown and our beautifully restored courthouse with celebrations for all seasons.

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