Georgetown on Top Christmas Destinations in America List

Georgetown was recently named a top 50 Christmas destination in America in a list published by Newsmax, an online news source. Georgetown is number 7 in the U.S. on the list and is the only Texas city in the top 19 places. San Antonio is number 20.

ChristmasLights corner 800According to the article, “Newsmax has rounded up 50 of the very best places in America for you and your loved ones to visit this Christmas season—places that will etch themselves forever in both your memories and your hearts. Our list isn’t defined specifically by size or by number of visitors, but you’ll notice that each location’s unique, wholesome, and family-oriented events and activities help shape these rankings.”

In the number 7 ranking for Georgetown, the article cites Christmas festivities like “an annual window display competition between 18 stores for the most lavish Christmas show, and the 35th Annual Christmas Stroll through Georgetown Square’s Bethlehem Village, which is like a Christmas card come to life.”

Other special Christmas and holiday events in Georgetown include the annual Lighting of the Square event, Breakfast with Santa, the Blue Santa toy drive, holiday events at the public library, two holiday home tours, holiday concerts, and many other events by nonprofits and churches in Georgetown.

Lights on the Courthouse and on buildings and in trees around the downtown Square are on display through January 2. To find out more about the lights and holiday season in Georgetown, go to holiday.georgetown.org.

Christmas Stroll Festival on Friday and Saturday

The 35th annual Christmas Stroll is this weekend in downtown Georgetown around the Courthouse Square. This holiday festival sponsored by the Downtown Georgetown Association is 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, December 4 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 5. See all the details at www.TheGeorgetownSquare.com.

ChristmasLights18b-450The Christmas Stroll on Saturday includes a parade at 10 a.m., live entertainment, and holiday shopping at 175 arts and crafts booths as well as downtown merchants. The Bistro Food Court offers hot chocolate, funnel cake, and other seasonal treats. Enjoy Santa’s Village Among the Trees at the Brungot Christmas Tree Farm all day Saturday, including photos and visits with Santa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. New this year from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday is dinner with the Grinch and Santa in Santa’s Village.

In the Whoo-Village children’s area by Grace Bible Church on Friday night and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you’ll find rides for kids, the popular Whoo-hair booth, and a special visitor—the Grinch himself. Visit Whoo-Village on Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. for a special Dessert with the Grinch.

Bethlehem Village by Georgetown Church of Nazarene features booths, displays, and performers in costume from the first century. Learn about life at the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

Look for the Kids Zone and Craft Area with hands-on fun such as ornament making, cookie decorating, Home Depot kid’s construction area, and Hula Hoop lessons. The Kids Zone is open Friday evening and Saturday.

Stroll always showcases local talent with musical, dance, and drama performances on two stages. Live entertainment includes choirs and orchestras from Georgetown schools, local dance groups, and many more performers. See the schedule at www.TheGeorgetownSquare.com.

Admission to Stroll is free. A donation of a new toy to Blue Santa or Brown Santa is appreciated. Look for collection barrels on the Square. The Stroll and parade are rain-or-shine events and will be held unless there is severe weather.

Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday

Stroll Parade Route 2015 webThe downtown Stroll Parade on Church Street and Austin Avenue starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday. For safety reasons, the Georgetown Police Department asks that no candy or any objects be thrown from floats or participants in the parade. (Click on parade graphic for a larger version.)

Elves with Georgetown Blue Santa will be collecting new, unwrapped toys along the route of the Christmas Stroll parade. For donation barrel sites and more information, go to BlueSanta.Georgetown.org.

Event Parking

After 12 p.m. (noon) on Saturday, festival-goers may park in the City of Georgetown parking lot on the west side of Austin Avenue at Fifth Street. This is a free lot.

Parking is available at the Williamson County parking structure at Third and Rock Streets and at the County lot at Rock and Sixth streets. These are free lots.

The City parking lot at Ninth and Main streets will be used for handicapped parking and public parking on Saturday. This is a free lot.

The City parking lot at Sixth and Main streets will be closed starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 3 through Saturday. This lot will be used for the food court.

Street Closures

Austin Avenue will be closed from 6 a.m. on Saturday until 1 a.m. on Sunday between Seventh and Eighth streets. The Austin Avenue closure will expand from Second to 11th streets on Saturday between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. (noon) to allow for the Stroll Parade. The Austin Avenue detour will be on Rock. Street. Austin Avenue will remain open on Friday.

Other streets around the Square will be closed on Saturday. Street closures include Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street, Ninth Street, and Main Street in a one-block radius from the Courthouse Square. Go to www.TheGeorgetownSquare.com for details.

More Information

For more information, go the Downtown Georgetown Association website at www.TheGeorgetownSquare.com. The Stroll is co-sponsored by and receives in-kind support from the City of Georgetown.

Summer Movies in the Park Series

Movies in the Park - Big Hero 6 (website)

Thursday, August 13, 2015
Movie: Big Hero 6 (PG)

Thursday, October 29, 2015 (in conjunction with our Halloween Festival)
Movie: Disney’s Halloweentown (PG) Movie will start at 6:45 p.m.

The movies will be held in the gazebo area of San Gabriel Park in Georgetown. The movie will begin at sunset, approximately 8:45 p.m.

Minnie & Ella Jordan Return to Play Live at the Library Aug. 23

Minnie & Ella Jordan will appear next in the Georgetown Public Library’s “Live Music at the Library” series. They will perform on Sunday, August 23, at 2 p.m. in the library Lobby.Minnie and Ella Jordan

Minnie & Ella Jordan play swing, hot jazz, and standards from the ’20s and ’30s. They sing and play fiddle, guitar, tenor guitar, and mandolin. They performed in the library last year as well, and there have been many requests to invite them back. For more information about the sisters, visit their Facebook page.

Free and open to the public, this performance is a gift of the Friends of the Georgetown Public Library. Come and go, or have a seat in the library Lobby and enjoy the concert.

The Georgetown Public Library is located at 402 W. Eighth Street in Georgetown.

Marking History on the Square: Postponed

Updated, May 15: The Marking History walking tour and the Historic Marker Rehabilitation Workshop that were scheduled for tomorrow have been postponed due to the forecast for rain. The City and The Williamson Museum will publicize the new date when the events are re-scheduled.
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Local history experts in period costumes will tell stories from Georgetown’s past in an event on Georgetown’s Courthouse Square on May 16. The self-guided walking tour called Marking History on Saturday, May 16 is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is one of several Preservation Month activities in May.

The tour is sponsored by The Williamson Museum in partnership with the Georgetown Main Street Program and the Georgetown Heritage Society. The Marking History walking tour is free and open to the public.

During the self-guided tour, historical markers around the Square will come to life with interpreters in period costumes telling the stories of the buildings and the people who built them. From the Grace Heritage Center and the old fire station on the southeast side of the Square to the Lockett Building on the northwest corner—and at several historical markers in between—visitors will be entertained with the tales of Georgetown’s past. To start the Marking History tour, go to the Williamson Museum at 716 S. Austin Avenue on the Square to pick up a map.

Marker Rehab Workshop: On the morning of May 16, there will be an historic marker rehabilitation workshop at from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The workshop starts at 9 a.m. on the south steps of the Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Main Street. The group will divide into teams and participants will learn the rehabilitation techniques by working on historic markers around the Square. The workshop is sponsored by the City’s Historic Preservation office, the Texas Historical Commission, The Williamson Museum, and the Williamson County Historical Commission.

Art Exhibition: Artworks from the Paint Out on Church Street will be on display on May 16 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Grace Heritage Center, 811 S. Main Street. Works by approximately 20 artists featuring scenes along Church Street will be displayed. The pieces were painted during the Paint Out on Church Street event that was held on May 2 and sponsored by The Georgetown Art Center and the Georgetown Heritage Society. The exhibit will be on display at Grace Heritage Center May 11 through May 16. The show will be open Monday through Friday 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Breakfast Bites on May 20: Capitalizing on Cultural Arts

15-5-20 Breakfast Bites Flyer - Cultural ArtsGeorgetown’s historic downtown area became a state-designated cultural district in 2013. The official listing by the Texas Commission on the Arts recognizes the many arts and cultural offerings in the 40-block downtown overlay area. Georgetown has one of 26 cultural districts in 23 Texas cities.

The Breakfast Bites panel on May 20 will look at ways that retailers, restaurants, and other businesses can capitalize on Georgetown’s cultural district designation. The panel includes speakers from three anchor attractions in the Georgetown cultural district. Breakfast Bites is a quarterly business development event by the Georgetown Main Street Program.

The moderator for the May 20 panel is Jane Estes, writer and board member of Texans for the Arts. Estes served for two-terms as president and founding board member of Georgetown Art Works, the managing nonprofit of the Georgetown Art Center. Panelists include:

Marissa Austin is the executive director for the Georgetown Palace Theatre and holds an adjunct faculty position at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Georgetown Palace Theatre has been presenting live theater productions to packed houses since the restoration of their Art Deco building in 2001.

Mickie Ross is the executive director for The Williamson Museum, which offers a variety of exhibits highlighting local histories, people, and themes. In addition to providing cultural programming such as Hands on History, Summer History Camp, and the Salon, the museum holds the annual Chisholm Trail Days festival.

Amanda Still is a state-registered interior designer and art gallery director for Hill Design + Gallery in Georgetown. Still is a member of the Georgetown Arts and Culture board and the Georgetown Art Works board and serves as the fundraising director for the Georgetown Art Center.

The event on Wednesday, May 20 is from 8:30 to 9:50 a.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street. Breakfast snacks, coffee, and drinks will be provided. Networking starts at 8 a.m.

Attendees should pre-register by contacting Shelly Hargrove, Main Street manager, by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 18 at shelly.hargrove@georgetown.org or (512) 930-2027. Main Street is a program of the City of Georgetown Downtown and Community Services Department.

Find out more about cultural districts in Texas at the Texas Commission on the Arts website at www.arts.texas.gov/initiatives/cultural-districts.

Red Poppy Festival on the Square April 24 – 26

The poppies have splashed the town in red—a sure sign it’s time for the Red Poppy Festival, Georgetown’s energetic celebration of spring. Join us on the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas April 24 – 26 for three days of music, entertainment, and family fun.

JM Montgomery guitar-webThe Friday night concert with Dysfunkshun Junkshun starts at 7 p.m. The music on Saturday starts at 11 a.m. and goes through the concert and street dance with Roland Waits and the Wayward Travelers at 6 p.m., followed by Two Tons of Steel. The Saturday night headliner at 9:30 p.m. is John Michael Montgomery. The music and fun continue on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There is no admission charge for the concerts or other festival activities such as the car show, parade, children’s area, or vendor booths. Bring your own chair if you are coming to listen to the music. Other festival highlights include the Red Poppy Bike Ride on Saturday at 8 a.m., the Red Poppy Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the Car Show on Saturday at 11 a.m.

To celebrate 25 years of being the Red Poppy Capital of Texas, Georgetown is launching the Red Poppy Taste Awards, a cooking competition celebrating all things poppy. Winners will be announced on stage during the Saturday night concert.

The official 2015 Red Poppy Festival poster is on sale for $5 each at the Visitor Center at 103 W. Seventh Street. T-shirts are available at the festival.

For a full schedule and all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.

Where are the poppies? For a map showing the locations of red poppies in Georgetown, stop by the Visitors Center at 103 W. Seventh Street. (Or see an online map at poppy.georgetown.org/things-to-do/red-poppy-tour.) The largest displays of red poppies can be seen in the residential areas of Old Town north and east of the Town Square.

Street Closures

Austin Avenue closes Friday morning: Starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, April 24, Austin Avenue will be closed from Seventh to Ninth streets. Traffic will be detoured to Rock Street. (This is to allow the placement of the main festival stage.) Austin Avenue will be closed through Sunday at 11 p.m.

Other streets around the Courthouse Square will close at 7 a.m. on Friday, April 24 to allow for vendor set-up. Streets around the Square will remain closed through Sunday at 11 p.m. An expanded street closure area will be in effect on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon) for the Red Poppy Parade. To see the parade route, go to poppy.georgetown.org/files/2012/01/2015-Parade-Map1.pdf. Detailed street closure information can be found at poppy.georgetown.org/things-to-do/parade/street-closures.

Free Shuttle on Saturday

A free shuttle will run on Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to midnight. The shuttle will pick up and drop off passengers at the First Baptist Church located at 1333 W. University Avenue. The drop-off location is at the corner of Austin Avenue and Ninth Street.

Event Parking

The Williamson County parking garage at Rock Street and Fourth Street and the public parking lot on Austin Avenue between Fifth and Fourth Streets (next to Monument Cafe) will be open during the festival. Public parking lots on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street at W. Eighth Street and at W. Sixth Street are also available. There is no charge for parking.

Handicap parking is available at the parking lot at 10th and Main streets.

The City parking lot at Sixth and Main streets will be closed starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 24.

For a full schedule and all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.