‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ comes to Gonzales Winterfest Dec. 2-3


Gonzales Main Street will host its annual Winterfest celebration in downtown Gonzales on Dec. 2-3. This year’s theme is “Old Fashioned Christmas.”

The event promises to be fun for all ages, with a downtown Santa’s Market of vendors, kids games and rides, live Christmas musical performances, the Christmas tree lighting and the lighted Christmas parade, among other events.

As an extra bonus, Santa Claus will ride into town in style on TXGN Railways on Friday, Dec. 1 and will be at the old train depot at the corner of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew streets from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa, receive a small gift and sip on hot cocoa.

Get an early start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, with Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Gonzales Rotary Club, at First Methodist Church, 426 Saint Paul St. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Advance tickets required (available for purchase at the Chamber of Commerce). Individual tickets are $8 per person. Tables of 8 are $50 and tables of 10 are $60.

Independence Square then will play host to Santa’s Market vendors, opening at 10 a.m. Kids games and fun include a four-person bungee trampoline, a mechanical reindeer and a festive bounce house. There will be photo ops, ornament decorating and a special place to mail your letters to Santa. WildSpirit Ranch will also be back with their petting zoo.

The fun Gonzales Main Street Jingle Mingle 1K begins at 11 a.m. and goes to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Sip, savor, and shop your way around downtown merchants. Each participating business will offer free sips or savors while you shop. Fill out the punch card and return for a chance to win a gift basket. Ticket includes participant t-shirt, punch card, merchant map, and drink sample cups. Online registration and payment link for your convenience is at https://www.eventeny.com/events/ticket/?id=6975

In person registration with cash or check can be made at Gonzales Main Street office located at 305 St Lawrence Street.

The Gonzales Elks Lodge #2413 will host the Winterfest Cookoff at Independence Square with competition in four categories: Bloody Mary, stew, beans and chili. For more information, see separate article on the cookoff. There will also be the annual Elks Lodge cornhole contest at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. You can register online at https://app.scoreholio.com/link/s5ME.

Live Christmas entertainment begins at noon at the Main Street stage. It includes performances by a saxophonist at noon and 1 p.m.; live performances by Come and Take It Dance at 2 p.m.;  the Magpies (Cindy and Amanda) at 3 p.m.; the Apache Flames at 4 p.m.; Studio E Dance at 5 p.m.; and Christmas caroling by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 6 p.m.

The historic homes tour is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, sponsored by the Historic Homes Association (advance tickets required, which may be purchased online at gonzaleshistorichomes.org or in person at Laurel Ridge, 827 Saint Joseph St.).

Chris Oelkers will be featured at the Winterfest organ concert, showcasing the historic pipe organ at the Presbyterian Church, 414 St Louis St., Gonzales, at 4:30 pm. Saturday, Dec. 2. The concert will include improvisations of many well-known Christmas carols. Light refreshments will follow the performance. The concert is free of charge.

Stars in the Village, hosted by and at Pioneer Village, will be held at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, with both online tickets and tickets available at the event available.

The city of Gonzales tree lighting ceremony will be held at the official city tree at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 in Independence Square and then the annual Lighted Christmas Parade will begin at 7 p.m. with the entire community is invited to attend and to participate. Following the parade, Brandi Behlen will perform in concert from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.