LIGHT THE NIGHT CHRISTMAS PARADE
A Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce Production, presented by
My Two Cents
Penny C. McBride, President & CEO
Consider this a love letter to the people of Gillespie County, inspired by the Light The Night Christmas Parade produced by the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce last Friday.
I will begin those who provide the resources needed, especially our title sponsor H-E-B, who doubled their commitment in 2021! About an hour before the parade began, I was waiting to cross the street and saw H-E-Buddy (the store’s mascot) and a team of H-E-B employees working their way through scores of people lined up in lawn chairs and handing out glow wands. I stopped and just watched for another light cycle unable to tell who was having more fun – the givers or the recipients. When I saw the face of a woman who I guessed to be in her 80s turn into that of a wondrous child when she received hers, it made me joyful.
Earlier I had made a worrisome trip across the street to inform an unsuspecting couple from Temple that we had to tow their car from the parade staging area after unsuccessful attempts by the police department to contact them. When I called Tic Tac Towing to coordinate transportation and reconnect the couple with their car, the company’s owner surprised me with both the news that he had conveniently found a place for the car only a block away and wanted no payment from the Chamber for his services.
There were more than 130 entries in this year’s parade, nearly all of which were built by local volunteers. Knowing it took Chamber volunteers about 30 hours to construct and decorate the Santa float, simple math illustrates the collaborative spectacle of light that rolled down Main Street consumed thousands of man hours.
The Chamber is fortunate to have the creative talents of Mark Peterson. When we needed new sponsor signage, he built an entire family of snow people, each with a unique Fredericksburg persona – fleet admiral, fair queen, German-clad couple, peach farmer and more. When we wanted a big cake to wish Fredericksburg a happy 175th, he made it happen overnight. The Santa sleigh and Peppermint Platz are also his creations.
Fredericksburg police officers estimate attendance at this parade as one of the largest in our city’s history. Over the weekend I scrolled through the photos I took that night and my favorites were the crowd shots. Smiles, laughter, a young girl soulfully dancing to Christmas music with her H-E-B glow wand thrust high overhead.
The parade would not be possible without many volunteers, including Sammy Segner, who has been with the event since its inception. Of all the things for which I am grateful, a phone list of people who always say “yes” when I call is among the most valued.
The parade would also not be possible without support from the City and County. Aside from their investment of hotel occupancy tax grants, they provide the logistical backbone that literally supports the parade. Use of property and equipment are obvious supports, but it is important to recognize their efforts in managing street closures, directing traffic, overseeing safety and restoring traffic flow almost instantly.
Drive down Main Street a day or two before the parade and there is not a parking spot to be found because of the local tradition of leaving a vehicle to secure a parade viewing location. This is hard for the merchants, but they support us anyway. Please remember to make it up to them by shopping local this holiday season.
To our sponsors, in-kind donors, volunteers, entrants, vendors and attendees, I thank you for brilliantly lighting the night.
The Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce thanks the following businesses and individuals for their support of the Light The Night Christmas Parade:
Hill Country Memorial
Security State Bank & Trust
Early Bank Closure for Parade Staging
Audio-Visual Coordination & Support
Tic Tac Towing
Complimentary towing support
Trailer for Santa & Ms. Claus Float
Parade vehicles, use of equipment and float building space
Stroeher & Olfers
Use of equipment
Julie Herbort, Tony Klein and Greg Oehler
Use of equipment
Portraying Santa Claus and construction of Chamber Float
Amanda Stevens, Meredith and Margaret
Portraying Ms. Claus and Santa's elves
Fredericksburg High School Red Hotts
Fredericksburg High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp &
Fredericksburg High School Marching Band
Parade Color Guard & Band
Fredericksburg High School Football Team
City of Fredericksburg
Technical support, coordination of street closures, parade routing, public safety and traffic management, plus occupancy tax grant investment
Use of property and use of employee parking areas for parade staging, plus occupancy tax grant investment
Sammy Segner & Parade Staging Team
Sorting 130 entries into a single line!
Travis & Welsley Reeh
Parade Judging Coordination
Food & Beverage Coordination
Chamber Board of Directors
Leadership Gillespie County Class of 2022
Fredericksburg Standard & KNAF
Parade publicity and coverage