On Friday at 6 p.m., the Downtown Bryan Association will hold its 13th Annual Lights On! ceremony at Gloria Sale Park to kick off the holiday season.
The event is completely free to the public and will include live musical performances, a craft table, bounce houses, hot chocolate, cookies, a free showing of “Home Alone” in the Queen Theater and photo-opts with Santa. The tree lighting, led by St. Nick himself, will be at 6:30 p.m., and from there everyone will be free to walk from the park to Main Street and participate in the other Christmas activities.
Captain Paul Ryerson of the Bryan-College Station Salvation Army said the local Salvation Army always enjoys coming out to the event to celebrate the Christmas season. The downtown Bryan Association invites the Salvation Army Band for carols, the Disaster Mobile Kitchen to serve free hot chocolate and some bell ringers to help foster a holiday spirit, Ryerson said.
“Salvation Army participates in Lights On! because it’s a fun event and a great community kick off to the Christmas season,” Ryerson said. “Additionally, the Downtown Bryan Association asks us to be there. We invest so much into Lights On! because it allows us to be stewards of the season, to be able to come out and welcome Christmas into Bryan and College Station.”
According to Katelyn Brown, senior events coordinator for the Downtown Bryan Association, the Lights On! ceremony offers a unique atmosphere that helps support local businesses while bringing the community together to celebrate the beginning of the winter holidays.
“It’s a great kickoff to the holiday season, we pride ourselves with having locally owned businesses in downtown and, of course, the holiday season is very important for their continued success,” Brown said. “Encouraging people to shop small and support local businesses is a huge part of that.”
Kaitlin Lovett, communications junior and member of Texas A&M Century Singers, said being able to perform for the community and help welcome the holiday season is always a lot of fun.
“Lights On! is a great experience for Century Singers to get to be a part of,” said Lovett. “It gives us the opportunity to put our names out there, and we get to do what we love. Sharing that with the Bryan-College Station community is such a fun way to start out the holiday season.”
More information about Lights On! is available on the Downtown Bryan Facebook page.