Downtown Abilene will be ‘decked out’ for the holidays on November 28th when Fox 15 puts on the 29th annual Christmas Lights Parade.
Susan Acuna, commercial producer at Fox 15 and the coordinator for the parade, said this is one of the biggest parades in Abilene.
“It’s probably one of the biggest parades in town,” Acuna said. “It’s also a way for the station to say thank you to the community and the Big Country and basically kickoff the holiday season in conjunction with City Sidewalks downtown.”
Acuna said that most of the schools in Abilene Independent School District have their music programs performing in some of the stores.
“During the parade and City Sidewalks we have every school’s musical group from AISD in different stores across downtown so there’s that going on,” Acuna said. “Everybody just gets the chance to mingle downtown and enjoy the downtown area and it allows the merchants to stay open past their usual time to get more customers.”
Acuna said the parade has a record number of floats –150 instead of 100.
“Normally we have a limit of 100 floats but usually that goes over the limit to about 110 to 115 floats,” Acuna said. “Right now we are at our max capacity and this year we are breaking a record with 150 floats in the parade.”
This year’s theme is ‘Christmas in Toyland’ so visitors can bring a toy to donate to the Marines Toys for Tots program.
Allison Causey, the Technology Marketing Manager for the Abilene Visitors Bureau, said small businesses get discovered by Abilene citizens during the event.
“We have thousands of people downtown just specifically for the parade,” Causey said. “So yes, it does bring people downtown and opens people’s eyes to what businesses are downtown.”
City Sidewalks is sponsored by the Abilene Downtown Association. Downtown merchants, restaurant and galleries will be open late for an evening of holiday fun and community tree lighting.