Posts tagged “holidays

Christmas in the Park tradition returns at Central Park

By Ana Romero, Recreation Manager

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park.

College Station’s beautiful Christmas in the Park displays began in 1984 when a local family funded a couple of light panels. The displays have since grown to more than one million lights and are a holiday mainstay.

Our crews work year-round preparing the light panels to ensure they shine brightly when the season arrives. The hundreds of illuminated panels — a bulb for every inch — are taped precisely to preserve the panel’s mesmerizing effects. Cemetery Sexton Ron Schaefer — known around our offices as Father Christmas — manages workers from all park districts to create Christmas magic.

Here are two ways you can enjoy the time-honored tradition of holiday lights at Beachy Central Park:

LIGHTS ON Ι Nov. 26-Jan. 1, 6-11 p.m.

As you stroll or drive-thru through the park, you can do more than look — you can listen, too! Tune in to channel KAGC 97.3 FM as you drive to enjoy Christmas music provided by Bryan Broadcasting and Christmas 97.3 FM. 

Don’t forget to bring your wish list for Santa. Our staff made arrangements with his elves to accept letters for Santa in our North Pole Mailbox located outside of the Central Park Office. Drop your letter off from Nov. 26-Dec. 24 to ensure safe delivery. 

DRIVE-THRU EVENT Ι Dec. 4-5, 6-10 p.m.

Drive-thru the park and enjoy the lights, wave to Santa, drop off a wish list in the North Pole mailbox, grab a goodie bag filled with arts and crafts, scoop up cookies and hot cocoa mix, adopt a Holiday Parks Pal, and view the traditional living nativity scene.

Cars enter the drive-thru off Krenek Tap Road from Dartmouth and exit by taking a right onto the State Highway 6 frontage road. Krenek Tap from Highway 6 and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park will be closed from 3-11 p.m. on event days. Parking will not be allowed in the park.

Here’s a more in-depth look at this year’s drive-thru festivities:  

  • Living Nativity Scene: The reason for the season will be brought to life by Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church. The live nativity scene is put to music, and voice actors tell the story of Jesus’s birth. The living nativity includes real animals, costumed characters, and handcrafted props.
  • North Pole Mailbox: Even though Santa is busy preparing for his deliveries, he’s made plans to stop by and wave to those who pass. He can’t visit to take photos this year, but his elves will be there to collect your wish list for his North Pole mailbox.
  • Cookies and Hot Cocoa: You can’t have Christmas in the Park without cookies and hot cocoa. Grab an individual pack of cookies and a serving of hot chocolate mix — compliments of H-E-B and Patty Cakes BCS — as you make your way through the park.
  • Adopt a Holiday Parks Pal: The Brazos Valley Marine Corps League-Detachment 1391 has rescued hundreds of Parks Pals (stuffed animals) that need a home for the holidays. Children can choose to adopt a free unicorn, dog, cat, llama, dinosaur, husky, or hedgehog. Each Parks Pal is individually bagged, but supplies are limited. Children must be present for the adoption. 
  • Arts and Crafts Goodie Bag:Last but not least, grab a holiday-themed arts and craft goodie bag packed with a craft, coloring sheet, and game. 

The event wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions of our sponsors and community partners — Britt Rice ElectricH-E-BBrazos Valley Marine Corps LeagueBryan BroadcastingChristmas 97.3 FMPatty Cakes BCS, and Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.

The Parks & Recreation Department hopes you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season, and we wish you the best in the coming year. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or


About the Blogger Ana Romero is in her fourth year as recreation manager. She previously served the City of McAllen as recreation supervisor, community center manager, and aquatics superintendent. Ana earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M in 2001.

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Holiday Safety: Be careful when shopping — even online

This is the first post of a series about keeping your family and property safe this holiday season.

By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer

When Christmas shopping, you usually find yourself among enormous crowds at retail shops, malls, and grocery stores. These sizable gatherings also provide a perfect cover for those who are a little short on Christmas spirit — thieves.

If you shop online, you are equally susceptible to being targeted.

Don’t let the bad guys spoil your holiday season. By following these 10 simple tips, you reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

  1. Keep careful track of your bags and other packages. If you leave something behind, it could be stolen or discarded.
  2. Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies when taking mass transit: report any unattended packages to security or staff.
  3. Be sure not to buy more than you can carry. If your packages are making it hard for you to walk upright or see, ask a store employee to help you take them to your car.
  4. Check receipts to see whether your full credit card number appears. If a receipt has the entire number on it, take a pen and thoroughly scratch it out.
  5. Double check that you have your credit cards and checkbook after you pay for your items.
  6. Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Your computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. Visit for free software downloads.
  7. Keep your personal information and passwords private and secure. Don’t respond to requests to verify your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses won’t contact you in this manner.
  8. Beware of bargains from unfamiliar online companies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  9. Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the locked padlock icon or “https” in the URL address.
  10. Shop online companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.

Safe Exchange Zone

If you purchase an item through a website such as Craig’s List and need to exchange property in person with a stranger, we encourage you to use the designated exchange zone in the police department’s main parking lot at  2611 South Texas Ave. We record video of the area 24 hours a day.

Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.


About the Blogger

Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.


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18 timely tips for a safe and happy holiday season

By Lt. Chuck Fleeger, CSPD Public Information Officer

Copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock PhotoThanksgiving is always a wonderful time to relax, spend time with family and friends, enjoy terrific food, and watch a whole heap of football! It’s also a kickoff of a different kind as Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas season.

You certainly don’t want to ruin all that joy by becoming a crime victim.

With shoppers out in force and many residents leaving town, the College Station Police Department offers these safety reminders.

When you go shopping: (more…)