One of my favorite days of the year in Gonzales is the annual Winterfest celebration put on by Gonzales Main Street.
It is not only fun to attend, but it is one of the events I love to cover as the editor and publisher.
Here’s what is was like to be in my shoes on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The day started with a hike to the First Methodist Church. Santa Claus was in the house, and so were hundreds of children. Volunteers were serving a delicious pancake breakfast to the attendees, the cheerleaders and pom-pom squad were there to perform, and the high school JROTC cadets were in attendance to serve the visitors.
Children of all ages squealed with delight when Santa Claus arrived, and children waited with great anticipation to tell Old St. Nick what they hoped to receive on Christmas morning. Parents and grandparents looked on with huge smiles as the youngsters visited with Santa. It is always a special moment to behold, and the wonder of the imagination tickled my heart.
After visiting with Santa and his minions at 9 a.m., it was off to the library where special events were being held. Books were read about Christmas, Santa and other heart-warming stories, while in the back room an arts and crafts event was being put on by area high school students. All the students were dressed in Christmas attire, and one young lass even dressed up as a human Christmas tree. It put me in the right place for the holiday season.
Following the 10 a.m. trip to the library, it was off to the Running M to sit in on the Sons of the Texas Republic meeting. The men in attendance at the STR meeting are contemplating doing some wonderful things for Gonzales, and I was honored to be there. A special thank you to my friend Ricky Walker for inviting me.
Following the STR meeting, it was back to Confederate Square to take pictures of the participants in the Winterfest Cook Off. Cookers were participating in chili, beans and a beef stew competition. There were 14 teams involved, and as I went from cooking team to cooking team, I realized that I knew most of the participants. We chatted, laughed, and lied to each other while there was a wholesome amount of chili consumed.
After taking pictures of all the teams, it was off to the Chamber of Commerce for the judging of the three different cook off categories. I was a judge this year, and I have to admit the chili competition was as close as anything I’ve ever been associated with. After eating 30 samples of chili, beans and stew, this publisher was so full that I felt like I needed a nap. But alas, it was not to be because immediately following the judging we had to take pictures of the top winners in each class. It was fun to see so many of my friends win and place, and the smiles on their faces made all the eating, photography and socializing worthwhile on a wonderful day in the state of Texas.
After the pictures were taken, I had a chance to visit with some friends. We celebrated a birthday for Miss Connie, and I even sang a bad version of Happy Birthday to her at the Come and Take It.
After a couple hours of conviviality, it was time to stage for the huge Christmas parade. This year’s parade was fantastic, as all the lighted floats, cars, vehicles and horses marched through the streets of downtown Gonzales to the delight of the large throng in attendance.
I would like to congratulate Barbara Friedrich, the Main Street group, and all the volunteers who participated in this year’s event. The Parade of Homes was a success, and Pioneer Village saw a huge influx of visitors. It was a good day for Gonzales, as a lot of out-of-town visitors were here. For me, it was just a great day to be a part of the celebration and a citizen of Gonzales. It put me in the Christmas spirit, and I want to thank everyone for all their kind words and good wishes on Saturday. Thank you to all, and Merry Christmas Gonzales!