By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator
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 collection has grown to more than one million lights and has become a holiday mainstay.
This year, the lights will burn nightly from 6-11 p.m. from Nov. 25 through New Year’s Day. As you stroll or drive-thru through the park, you can do more than look — you can listen, too. Tune in to Christmas 97.3 FM as you drive to enjoy Christmas music provided by Bryan Broadcasting. Admission is free, and parking is allowed in the park.
The crews diligently work around fall leagues and events to transition the park into a lighted winter wonderland. They toil in the heat, cold, rain — and sometimes ice — to ensure a radiant and festive glow when we flip the switch on Thanksgiving Day.
The centerpiece is the Tower of Power, a 90-foot-tall Christmas Tree adorned with 14,000 shimmering lights. Thanks to a generous donation by the Britt Rice family, the popular ritual of spinning beneath the giant tree continues.
We also encourage you to take your family’s traditional drive through the 60 strands of lights that frame Santa’s Lane. The only nights that won’t be available are on Christmas in the Park event weekend Dec. 3-4. We’ll close the drive-thru at 7 a.m. on event days to keep everyone safe as we set up for visits with Santa and his reindeer, hayrides, and of course, cookies and chocolate milk.
You can still walk through the 36 snowflakes in Snowflake Forest, take pictures in front of the 36-foot lighted paddleboat, and wander along the tunnel on the back trail. Don’t forget to bring your wish list for Santa. Our staff has arrangements with his elves to accept letters for Santa in our North Pole mailbox outside the Central Park Office. Drop your letter off from Nov. 25-Dec. 24 to ensure safe delivery.
For many local families, Christmas in the Park has become a holiday institution. The Parks and Recreation family invites you to continue the tradition and create new and lasting memories.
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