The following was submitted by Ismael Martinez of the Office of Public Information at Southwest Texas Junior College.
Southwest Texas Junior College on Tuesday, Nov. 27 hosted the fifth-annual Christmas at the College event, which drew approximately 2,500 attendees.
Highlighting the evening’s festivities was the arrival of Santa Claus and a brief parade. Parade entries included the college rodeo team, Middle Rio Grande Law Enforcement Academy at SWTJC, The Uvalde Good Eggs, Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department, Uvalde County 4-H Club, La Pryor High School band, Uvalde High School band, SWTJC daycare students and cosmetology club and staff.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, elves, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snow Man.
Derek Sandoval, vice president of administrative services, served as master of ceremonies for the evening and thanked everyone for showing their support. He also commented on the success of the event.
Before the parade and tree lighting, Sandoval introduced SWTJC President Hector Gonzales.
Gonzales commended the numerous individuals who contributed to decorating the campus. College employee JJ Suarez and his family received special recognition during the evening’s festivities. Suarez was honored for devoting countless hours in preparing the campus for the event.
Santa was available throughout the evening for pictures; an estimated 850 children and adults took pictures with Santa Claus. Photos with Santa will be available for download at swtjc.edu at no cost.
Musical entertainment was provided by Robert Perez of La Pryor High School and musical groups from Flores Elementary, Knippa School, La Pryor High, Robb Elementary, High School, Sacred Heart Catholic School, St. Philip’s Episcopal School, SWTJC, Uvalde Classical Academy, and Uvalde High School.
Schools received a $200 donation from Southwest Texas Junior College as a token of appreciation for taking time to participate in the college event.
Shortly after the choir performances, Las Posadas began, but not before Sandoval gave a brief description of the significance of the Christmas tradition.
The Las Posadas procession began in front of the Rodolfo R. and Dolores Flores Student Services Building and followed a route through the SWTJC campus, which ended at the Matthew Student Center ballroom for a dinner of tamales, rice, beans, and desserts. Children were treated to piñatas as part of the celebration.