by Adriana Acosta
Visitors to the City of Hidalgo’s Festival of Lights can stroll through the streets around city hall and enjoy the millions of Christmas lights twinkling in the different displays shaped into familiar Christmas characters, candy canes, deer and even palm trees. The sounds of Christmas music can also be enjoyed, making the event a festive one for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can also enjoy horse-drawn wagon tours.
The 18th Annual Festival of Lights in Hidalgo is currently taking place through the end of the year. Considered the largest display of Christmas lights in South Texas, visitors will be able to enjoy the eight different locations themed “A Magical Christmas.”
Hidalgo’s Festival of Lights is a two-mile drive displaying a vast array of different Christmas displays. The 250 lighted displays have over two million lights and have over 900 trees decorated with Christmas lights.
The driving tour can begin at the Dodge Arena, City Hall or The Old Hidalgo Pumphouse and can be enjoyed by following the signs indicating each location throughout the city or by following the map giving the exact location of the millions of lights and beautifully decorated displays throughout the city.
Some of the new displays this year include, Santa’s Candy Workshop, Skateboard Park and Dinosaur Park. Popular displays from previous years include the Twelve Days of Christmas, Cinderella’s Carriage, Space Shuttle, and Christmas around the World, the Jumping Frogs, and the Gingerbread House.
Visitors wanting a narrated tour of the displays can do so with a horse drawn wagon tour that will continue running through Dec. 23. The cost is $6 per person. Trolley Tours are also available and will continue through Dec. 23 at $3.00 per person.
Kay Wolf, assistant city manager said last year there was over 600,000 visitors within the 31 days the festival was open to the public.
“We had people all over the Valley visit the festival. We had bus loads of people arriving each day,” she said.
Festivities for The Ramon Ayala Posada are scheduled for tonight in city hall and will begin with a mass at 4 p.m. Musical bands will be performing and awaiting Santa Clauses grand entrance which will be arriving at the Festival of Lights by helicopter provided by the McAllen DPS.
The festival of lights runs through the end of the year. For more information on the festival go to www.hidalgotexas.com/lights.html or call City Hall at 843-2286 or 843-2734.