By Nicole Jones
A lighted parade this Friday will begin a slate of holiday activities for Manvel area residents.
The City of Manvel’s annual Parade of Lights and Christmas Tree Lighting begins at 7 p.m. at the high school, 19601 Highway 6.
“This will be the first year that we’re having a float contest,” says Kim Bickham, who is among organizers of the third annual event. “Judges are local community members and business owners.”
An estimated 25 entries will be judged in three categories: “Specter Sparkles” – creative use of the Christmas Lights theme; “Spirit Award” for most expressive Christmas spirit; “Greatest Community Pride” for the entry with the most entertaining, crowd pleasing performance; and “Best in Show” for overall float or group.
Floats will be passing out candy and the city is providing free hot chocolate and glow necklaces while supplies last. Parking is available at the high school parking lot near the Highway 6 entrance, student lot and junior high parking lot. Manvel Police Department will begin closing the roads at 6:45 p.m.
Collection boxes for the Toys for Tots drive will be available at the parade. A collection box is also located at City Hall through Dec. 13.
The tree lighting and Christmas carols will take place immediately following the parade in the high school student parking lot. Santa Claus will be available for photos, as well.
The annual procession this year could escape the weather forecasts that threatened the first two events. The forecast for Friday calls for sunny skies during the day and a 10 percent chance of rain that continues into Saturday. Rain chances climb to 20 percent on Sunday with partly cloudy skies forecast.
Also happening this Friday is opening night for the annual Alvin Christmas Train, a family friendly train ride through lighted decorations at 1407 Victory Lane, Alvin. The ticketed event includes a walking trail and story at Mrs. Claus’ cottage.
Rides will be 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. weekdays and 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 23. Tickets at the door are $12 each, but advance tickets are recommended for $10, with ages 2 and under free. For more information, visit www.thechristmastrain.com.
TOUR OF HOMES
An annual holiday home tour is Saturday with on-site tickets and a season food and bake sale all happening at the historic Train Depot on Willis Street, Alvin.
Sponsored by the Alvin Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, the tour of homes is 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday with tickets $10 each. Children under 12 are free with paid adult. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center of Brazoria County and Delta Delta’s Leadership Development Fund to help fund scholarships.
The seasonal food sale will include cheese balls, candies, jams and jellies, and home tour tickets are not necessary for browsing and purchasing items.
On Dec. 19, the Brazoria County Historical Museum hosts an evening of holiday baking from 6 to 8 a.m. featuring a local baker from For Goodness Cakes.
Designed for children ages 6 and up, parents and grandparents, the hands-on evening activity includes a step by step guide for making nutcracker themed cookies, and includes a hot cocoa bar.
In addition, illustrator Wade Dillon will host a reading of his book, “The Texas Nutcracker.”
Pre-registration is required. Tickets for Museum members are $20 and non-members are $30 per person. Call 979-864-1208 or email programs manager Jennifer Caulkins at [email protected].