Downtown Abilene bustled with Christmas cheer Tuesday evening, as residents filled the streets to participate in the Abilene Downtown Association’s annual City Sidewalks event and KXVA Fox Christmas Parade.
This was the 27th annual City Sidewalks for the ADA and the first year KXVA Fox has sponsored the parade. The event had an especially holiday-like atmosphere as a wintery chill blew throughout the night.
City Sidewalks is one of two annual events that the ADA hosts in order to draw people in to the businesses of the city’s downtown.
“The goals of the event are to showcase the businesses and bring in the holiday season,” ADA secretary and City Sidewalks chair Christine Brockman said.
Various entertainments were placed throughout downtown. In front of the Paramount the Abilene Community Band chimed out cheery Christmas unes and free hot chocolate and cookies were doled out from the Abilene Reporter News and the Hotel Wooten.
Local businesses also participated in a window-decorating contest. Abilene Independent School District won the contest, with United Way of Abilene placing second and the National Center for Children’s Literature winning third place.
Soon after the sun went down, visitors lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the annual Christmas parade. The glittering parade had around 120 floats, including local businesses, high school bands and classic cars. After the parade, parade watchers gathered inside the Civic Center to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree.
“I’m still recovering from that night,” Brockman said. “It seems like the parade happened so quickly; you really have to remind yourself to really enjoy it. “
This was Brockman’s first year as chairman of the event, which began planning in March, with KXVA Fox joining in to sponsor the parade in July. Brockman said the event was fun for her to plan and participate in, but she’s grateful to have a break before planning begins again next year.
“I think the event got everyone in the Christmas spirit,” Brockman said. “It put everyone in a good, cheerful mood and I hope that everyone who came out will have a good and happy Christmas season.”