Winterfest opens Friday


GONZALES — Downtown Gonzales turns on its holiday lights this weekend as Winterfest comes blowing back into town. Expect the same mix of seasonal delights with a few more fun events added.

The fun begins tonight with the conclusion of the Winterfest window decorating contest and the “O Christmas Tree Decorating Contest.” Several shop windows are already decked out for the occasion and have a chance to pocket up to $250 in prize money. As for the tree contest, entries need to be brought to Texas Heroes Square tonight and judging will commence tomorrow.

Friday night, many downtown merchants will keep their doors open late for what is dubbed the Jingle Mingle. Plan to attend from 5-7 p.m. and get on board with sales galore.

On Saturday, expect a full slate of activities as Winterfest slides into high gear. And it starts early, with the Winterfest 5K launching off faster than a reindeer. Competitors will gather at Gonzales Memorial Museum at 7 a.m. for check in. A kids Reindeer Dash 1K takes off at 7:45 a.m. and the big 5K starts at 8 a.m. Awards will be presented an hour later. Visit for more.

Jump on Santa's sleigh and head to the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall at 9 a.m. for Breakfast with Santa. The jolly old elf will be there for photos, as well as his old lady and a few elves. They tell the Inquirer that his appearance will not slow work at the North Pole, as plenty of elves have been employed for the many rush orders and requests. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, available at the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce. Be sure and come hungry, as a pancake breakfast will be served until 10 a.m.

Roll out of there and take in the Seasons Readings at the Gonzales Library from 9 a.m.-noon. Gonzales High School students will be reading their favorite holiday tales to the kiddos.

Santa's Market opens at 10 a.m. on Confederate Square with plenty of food, arts and crafts, and adult beverages. It looks like temperatures will hover in the mid 70s, which will make for a pleasant time.

Even though it will be warm, expect snow flurries and “Let it Snow” from 4-8 p.m. Children will enjoy snow, a snow slide, sledding, carousel, and a carnival swing. Admission comes in the form of bracelets, which cost $15 and allow unlimited rides.

A historic organ concert pipes up at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church; the Stars in the Village event opens at 6 p.m. with music, campfires, and homemade popcorn out at Pioneer Village; and the Historic Homes Tour runs all weekend from 2-6 p.m.

And at 7 p.m., expect close to 40 floats in the grand Winterfest Parade. Santa will be available afterward for more photos, and the community tree lighting flips the switch directly after the parade.

Winterfest is organized by the Gonzales Main Street organization and strives for a family friendly festival and opportunities to shop downtown businesses.