Gonzales’ annual holiday event, Winterfest, returns this weekend. Though the weather may not forecast it, expect “snow” flurries with the festival’s usual seasonal celebrations.
Winterfest kicks off Friday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. with the jingle mingle shopping event. Several of Gonzales’ downtown shops will be open late and feature specials, beverages and live music.
The fun continues Saturday with a full slate of events from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Start your Winterfest Saturday with breakfast with jolly old Santa at the Gonzales First United Methodist Church. The Gonzales Rotary Club-hosted breakfast begins at 9 a.m. and individual tickets begin at $8. A table of eight is $50 and a table of 10 is $60. Guests will be served a pancake breakfast and pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves will be available till 11 a.m. Tickets may be purchased from the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds are dedicated to benefit the children of Norma’s House.
After breakfast, stop by the Robert Lee Brothers Jr. Memorial Library between 9 a.m. to noon for Seasons Readings. Gonzales High School volunteers will be reading their favorite holiday-themed stories to children.
The Chili, Bean and Stew Cook-Off also gets going at 9 a.m. Saturday and lasts until 4 p.m. Santa’s Market opens up at noon and continues through to 10 p.m. According to Main Street Administrator Barbara Friedrich, the fan-favorite snow machine and snow slide will make a return to this year’s festival. On top of the usual activities, there will be several dance routines added to this year’s event. The Apache Flames will perform at 3 p.m., Studio E at 3:30 p.m., the Apache Color Guard at 4 p.m. and the Hermann Dance Class at 4:15 p.m.
The Gonzales Historic Homes Associated-hosted Historic Homes Tour begins at 2 p.m. and continues through Sunday at 6 p.m. The tour this year feature six houses, including the Fauth House, James Patek House, T.N. Matthews House, Frank Merriman Fly House, W.H. Boothe and the E.S. Atkinson House. Tickets to tour all homes are $25 and individual homes are $10. Tickets can be purchased day of tour at the chamber. All proceeds will benefit the Gonzales Historic Homes Association.
A free historic organ concert by Chris Oelkers kicks off at 4 p.m. at the Gonzales Presbyterian Church. At 6 p.m., the Stars in the Village event at Pioneer Village boots up. Stars in the Village will include live music, cookies, wassail and campfire popcorn. The event will carry on past Winterfest weekend and continue to Dec. 13 and 14. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 6-12 years old.
Lastly, the lighted Christmas Parade kicks off at 7 p.m. Friedrich expects a larger-than-average parade this year.
“The parade looks like it’ll bigger than before and will have a lot of great entries,” Main Street Friedrich said. “Come on down and enjoy yourselves.”