It’s beginning to look more like Christmas in The American Dream City.
Arlington’s new 65-foot artificial Christmas tree, one of the tallest in the state, was installed near the Levitt Pavilion in Founders Plaza this week ahead of the popular Arlington Holiday Lights Parade. Make plans now to bring out the family to enjoy the parade, live music, pictures with Santa and other free festivities, which begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 in Downtown.
Volunteers with Arlington Christmas Parade, Inc., the nonprofit organization that has put on the Downtown parade for years, have been hard at work finalizing parade details and assembling the tree across the street from City Hall. The new tree, which will be lit for the season starting Dec. 2, features assorted styles of traditional red and silver ornaments, thousands of lights, and a 7-foot tall lighted star tree topper.
“We hope that seeing the Christmas tree helps people kick off the Christmas season in their hearts,” said Elle Stubbs, Arlington Christmas Parade Inc. board member and Arlington Parade of Lights director. “With the location in Downtown, our hope is that the community and our visitors will feel welcomed to stop at Founders Plaza and get a good picture for their memory book.”
Residents are invited to attend a Christmas Tree Dedication Ceremony with Mayor Jeff Williams at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2 in Founders Plaza, 100 W. Abram St. In keeping with tradition, the official tree lighting ceremony will follow the end of the Arlington Holiday Lights Parade at around 7 p.m. Dec. 14.
Other parade activities include free music from the Arlington High School Jazz Band, Sam Houston High School Orchestra and the Sam Houston High School Mariachis at Levitt Pavilion, pictures with Santa, children’s games, a free screening of Disney’s The Santa Clause at 7:30 p.m., and lots of opportunities to make lasting holiday memories, Stubbs said.
“We have a lot of families who have made this a long-time tradition,” she said.
This year’s parade route is expected to be finalized by Dec. 3 and posted on the organization’s website.
Though the entry deadline for parade participants has passed, Stubbs said businesses and organizations still have an opportunity to show support for the long-time community holiday tradition.
While the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to the nonprofit to help purchase the tree, the organization will need to continue collecting private donations and obtaining sponsorships to cover long-term tree installation and maintenance costs, Stubbs said.
“We are so thankful to the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation for the generous underwriting. We are also thankful that our community comes out and supports us in all we do,” said Stubbs, adding that community members donated about 100 volunteer hours to add hundreds of ornaments to the tree branches earlier this month ahead of the installation.
Story by Susan Schrock, Office of Communication, City of Arlington. Originally posted Friday, November 22, 2019 on arlingtontx.gov