By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at least in Stephen C. Beachy Central Park!
College Station’s beautiful Christmas in the Park displays began in 1984 with a couple of light panels and funding from a local family. The displays have grown to more than one million lights and have become a holiday mainstay in our community.
This year, the lights will burn nightly from 6-11 p.m. from Nov. 22 through New Year’s Day.
What’s different this year?
Thanks to a generous donation by Britt Rice Electric, the 90-foot-tall Christmas tree – a community favorite with more than 14,000 bulbs – will be relocated along Recreation Lane to accommodate the ongoing construction of the Fun for All Playground. Despite the move, the tradition of spinning beneath the giant Tower of Power will continue.
We also encourage you to continue the tradition of driving through the 60 strands of lights that envelop Santa’s Lane. We’ll close the drive-thru on the weekends of Nov. 30-Dec.1 and Dec.7-8 to keep everyone safe as you visit Santa, go on hayrides and grab free hot chocolate and cookies. On those nights, you can still walk through Snowflake Forest – made up of 36 snowflakes – and take pictures in front of the 36-foot lighted paddle boat.
Thank you, Parks crews!
Our crews work year-round prepping the light panels to ensure they brightly shine when it’s time to switch them on. The hundreds of illuminated panels – a bulb for every inch – must be taped precisely to preserve the panel’s mesmerizing effects. Cemetery Sexton Ron Schaefer, better known around our offices as Father Christmas, manages workers from all park districts throughout the fall to create nothing less than Christmas magic.
We encourage you to enjoy the time-honored tradition of holiday lights at Beachy Central Park. For more information, go to cstx.gov/Christmas or call 979-764-3486.
Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.
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