Uvalde Fire Marshal Juan “Tati” Hernandez, Uvalde Memorial Hospital and Templo Cristiano won first, second and third place, respectively, in the lighted Christmas parade put on by Newspapers in Education.
The parade was one of many holiday events taking place during Christmas at the Crossroads, held downtown from 6-10 p.m. last Friday.
Organized by Uvalde Leader-News NIE coordinator Olga Charles in conjunction with the city of Uvalde, there were 53 parade entries. The parade featured live reindeer and an appearance by Santa Claus.
For his first-place win, Hernandez, whose city of Uvalde fire marshal unit was outfitted with lighted trumpeting angels, pocketed $100, while UMH received $75. Templo Cristiano won $25.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s float featured light-up candy canes and plenty of riders spreading Christmas cheer.
Templo Cristiano presented a traveling band with guitarists, a drummer, and vocalists onboard and walking alongside for lively performances of holiday music.
Judges included Uvalde Chili Peppers Chelsey Caballero, Devan Caballero and Kay Welch.
Ready to meet parade goers at the plaza were food booths, an opportunity for pictures with Santa at the Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House annex, and live reindeer petting.
There was also a snow slide for children from 7-9 p.m. The snow slide station was organized by Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce and Uvalde High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
“I just want to thank everyone that participated and everyone that turned out to see the parade,” Charles said.
The next morning, 130 children turned out for Breakfast with Santa at the opera house annex. The event began at 9 a.m. Tickets for the breakfast were $5.
Children made Christmas ornaments as Britt Whyrick provided musical entertainment.
“… The kids took home a bag of reindeer food and met Santa,” said Jennifer Lawrence, communications coordinator for the opera house.
During the breakfast, children were served donuts, fruit and juice.
“We had some great volunteers including Drew Kimball, Autumn Wooten, Dudley Wooten, Marsha Wooten, Cashlyn Varnon, Lisa Phillips, Amanda Van Cleve and of course Santa,” Lawrence said.