The 31st annual Harbor Lights Festival rings in the beginning of the Christmas holiday season by transforming the beautiful Bayfront Marina into a Holiday Around the World.
The event will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
This fun filled event has grown into a South Texas tradition, and is a "must attend" family event. The beautiful skyline and Bayfront Marina area are illuminated for the holiday season.
The fun and hospitality of the downtown waterfront area provides the setting for wonderful sights, enjoyable family activities, and a variety of vendors featuring great food, and holiday items. Enjoy the illuminated skyline and spectacular harbor filled with the joys of the holidays.
The event is free to the public, and attracts families from throughout the Coastal Bend and visitors from the Coastal Bend and beyond.
Last year's event drew a record number of people in attendance. As the event continues to grow with new features being added annually, the event is sure to be even larger this year.
Schedule of Saturday's events:
1 p.m. - Children's Parade - Santa and the Parade will begin at Kinney Street and proceed North in the Northbound lane of Shoreline Boulevard to Schatzell Street. The spectacular view of the Bayfront makes watching the parade even more delightful. The entries will be judged and special awards will be presented later in the evening.
1 p.m. - Children's Activity Area - Games, face painting and holiday activities for enjoyment. Children will be assisted by more than 50 volunteers in writing postcards to Santa, making holiday greeting cards, and making gifts such as jewelry and crafts. Santa always shows up to say a special 'hello' to the children.
1 p.m. - Holiday Tree & Gingerbread Village - The gingerbread and the holiday tree village is definitely a crowd favorite! Beautiful gingerbread houses and designer creations are hand-made by businesses and residents, then displayed for public viewing. A creative holiday atmosphere is created in a tent decorated with lighted holiday trees. Each tree is uniquely decorated by area schools, organizations and local community groups. Trees and gingerbread houses will be raffled off to those that purchase tickets. The more tickets you purchase the higher your changes are to win. The proceeds of the ticket sales are to raise funds for the Harbor Lights Festival.
1 p.m. - Children's Gift of Love - All children are invited to play the game of bingo and enjoy an evening of fun, refreshments, and entertainment. Children play a game and have an opportunity to win gifts. The child is able to select a donated gift of choice to give to their mother, father, brother, teacher, or any person in their life they choose. The gift is then wrapped by volunteers and placed in a bag for the child to take home to place under the Christmas tree! This beautiful display of giving shows children a lesson in giving to others and sharing during Christmas. For it is far better to give than to receive! Children have an opportunity to learn to give a gift of love!
3 p.m. - Main Entertainment Stage - Enjoy a variety of live entertainment from church groups, school choirs and other area talent singing and performing holiday cheer for a festive day of crowd pleasing songs and special presentations.
6 p.m. - Lighting Ceremony Begins - Harbor Lights wouldn't be complete without the Tree of Lights. Santa's Motorcade will arrive in grand style led by festive twirlers and bagpipers and ending with the guest of honor--Santa Claus. The motorcade will travel down Shoreline Boulevard to the lighting ceremony. Our Kiii-TV 3News Anchor Joe Gazin will serve as emcee for the Lighting Ceremony, along with Santa and several special guests of honor, will flip the switch and the lighting of the Tree of Lights officially begins the holiday season.
7:30 p.m. - Illuminated Boat Parade - The Marina sparkles as boat captains, who have spent countless hours decorating their vessels, begin their regatta through the bay. Professional announcing of the Boat Parade adds to the fun as luxury motorboats, sailboats, shrimp boats, tugs, and Coast Guard Cutters float through the Marina. Their captains and crews sing carols to entertain spectators and WOW the judges along Shoreline Drive. Special awards are presented to winners in various categories.