Gonzales gears up for Winterfest 2021


Gonzales Main Street and several local non-profit organizations are encouraging residents and visitors alike to come to downtown Gonzales to enjoy “snow much fun” for Winterfest 2021.

A wide variety of events are awaiting visitors and residents alike on Dec. 3-5 as the spirit of the holidays returns to the community.

Friday, Dec. 3

• Shop small in a big way in downtown Gonzales as businesses and restaurants will be open late into the evening to accommodate customers, Main Street director Liz Reiley said. The Jingle Mingle will include Christmas specials at participating shops and eateries.

• At 6:30 p.m., check out a free Christmas movie in Independence Square. This year, it will be the 2018 animated version of “The Grinch,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch, Rashida Jones, Cameron Seeley, Pharrell and many others. The Grinch has become as much a part of the Christmas tradition as Santa himself. Please bring blankets, chairs, and your families to join in the fun.

Saturday, Dec. 4

• Saturday kicks off with Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Gonzales Rotary Club, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 426 Saint Paul St., Gonzales. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making an appearance for photos with the kiddos. Breakfast plates will include pancakes, sausage, and juice. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber of Commerce for $10 per plate.

• Meanwhile, the Gonzales Noon Lions Club will hold registration for their annual Winterfest Cook-off at the Alcalde Hotel, 614 St. Paul, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Bloody Mary, Stew, Beans and Chili contests will be held at Texas Heroes Square at the corner of St. George and St. Paul streets.

Turn-in times are 12:30 p.m. for Bloody Marys, 1 p.m. for Stew, 1:30 p.m. for Beans, 2 p.m. for Local Chili and 2:30 p.m. for CASI Chili. Entry fees are $15 per contest and judging will be held at the Alcalde Hotel.

• Once again, Winterfest will feature an Ice Skating rink, the SnowGlobe Live and Snowzilla Jr. super slide. The ice may be artificial but the fun to be had is genuine! The Ice Skating Rink, SnowGlobe Live and Snowzilla Jr. slide will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Independence Square.

Separate admission is charged for these activities. All inclusive wristbands are available for $15 per person. Gonzales Main Street offsets the costs associated with these activities through ticket sales and sponsorship revenue.

• The Christmas Cookie Decoration Contest will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Independence Square.

• Come shop at Santa’s Local Market or buy food at several food trucks. There will be ornaments, a dress-up photo booth, face painting, a selfie station and more. Kids can stop by the Main Street booth to get materials to write a letter to Santa and mail it at Santa’s Mailbox, which will be at the Gonzales Inquirer — the “North Pole’s” favorite newspaper!

• The Buggy Barn Museum of Blanco will give carriage rides downtown through historic Gonzales from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and again from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $20 and advanced ticket purchases are highly recommended due to limited carriage ride capacity.

• Tour historic homes throughout Gonzales from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Homes featured on this year’s historic tour will include Belle Oaks Inn at 222 St. Peter, built in 1912; St. James Inn at 723 St. James, built in 1914; The J.H. Boothe House at 706 St. George, built in 1912; the Frank Fly House at 827 St. Joseph, built in 1914; the Fauth House at 521 St. Peter, with a construction date of 1868; and the T.N. Matthews/J.B. Wells House, 833 Mitchell, built in 1885. Learn more in a separate story inside this edition. This is a separate ticketed event.

• Studio E will hold a dance recital from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Independence Square.

• The “Stars in the Village” exhibit is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pioneer Village Living History Center, 2122 N. St. Joseph St. Experience Christmas as if you were alive in the early 1800s. Activities include Candle Making, Popcorn & S’mores from the fire. This is a separate ticketed event.

• This year’s Lighted Christmas Parade will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Lineup starts at 6 p.m. and judging will take place as participants drive through downtown. Awards for first and second place will be presented to the winners in each category once the parade has ended.

You can become a part of the parade by lighting your floats, cars, pickups, bicycles, bands, motorcycles or walking groups and by submitting a parade entry application and a $25 application fee. No entries will be accepted after Nov. 29. For more information, email lreiley@gonzales.texas.gov or call 830-672-2815.

• After the Lighted Parade will be the downtown Tree Lighting ceremony at 8 p.m. with Mayor Connie Kacir and the Miss Gonzales Royal Court as well as pictured with Santa Claus. There will also be live music after the ceremony at 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 5

The Ice Skating Rink will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, while the Historic Homes Tour and Carriage Rides will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, go to bit.ly/gonzaleswinterfest or call Liz at 830-672-2815 or 830-203-1705
or email lreiley@gonzales.texas.gov.