Holidays are underway in Old Town Spring
Old Town Spring is all decked out for the holidays – decorations are hung around all the shops with care and St. Nicholas is already there.
The 34th annual Home for the Holidays celebration kicked off with a tree-lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 8. The community gathered to see the 20-foot-tall decorated tree illuminated while the Invincible Czars performed.
The fun continues every weekend through Dec. 21. Strolling performers will greet families, as they visit festive exhibits and shop for unique holiday gifts at the town’s specialty stores.
Event chairwoman Carol Holland said the local shops and businesses come alive during the holiday season.
“It’s a historic community, and it just has a festive atmosphere,” Holland said. “It’s all about the whole spirit of the holidays.”
There will be live entertainment each weekend, including school and church choirs, bell ringers, dancers, cloggers and carolers. Most of the entertainment is scheduled between noon and 4 p.m.
Kris Kringle and Mrs. Claus will be available for pictures from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in Santa’s Workshop, which is located at 326 Main St., directly across from the Spring Historical Museum.
“Children can also come and have breakfast with Santa Claus,” Holland said.
St. Nick will also be dining from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays at La’Deville Café, 421 Gentry St. – and kids are invited to join him there and take a photo over breakfast.
Children may also run into their favorite characters in Old Town Spring – from Disney princesses to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“We will have a kids electric train without track, face-painting and children’s rides too,” Holland said. “It’s a great way to spend the day with the family.”
Rides on the 40-foot Be-An-Angel small electric train run through town and make a stop in Preservation Park. All proceeds benefit the Be-An-Angel Foundation, which provides assistance to children with disabilities. Guests can also assist by dropping off an unwrapped gift for a child, infants through 18 years, at one of the drop centers – Moore Time at 202 Main St., Little Dutch Girl at 210 Gentry St. or Ellen’s Café at 307 Gentry.
Wreaths Across America, an organization which honors veterans by placing wreaths on graves across the United States, including Houston’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery, will be collecting donations during Home for the Holidays.
Visitors may support the Brookwood Community, a residential program for adults with special needs, by shopping at the organization’s retail store at 318 Gentry St.
Executive director Vivian Shudde explained that 40 percent of the center’s operating budget comes from the enterprises on the Brookwood campus.
“We do not take any government money, and instead we rely on the American free enterprise system,” she said. “All 200 of our citizens have jobs in enterprises on our campus.”
The Horticulture Enterprise began with two greenhouses and a small tree farm. Now there are 47 greenhouses and residents grow approximately 500,000 plants each year.
The horticulture department grew about 44,000 poinsettas this year.
“We’re planning on selling out all of our poinsettas,” Shudde said.
She said residents have also made 14,000 holiday ornaments that will be for sale.
“We have the most awesome selection of nativities – all homemade,” Shudde said. “We have a Santa collection, and we add a new one each year. They’re hand-painted and awesome.”
There are several other gift items and home décor options in the store.
“Your dollar does double duty,” Shudde said. “By purchasing at Brookwood, all proceeds go to underwrite the community. It’s critical for people to come shop, because it literally provides opportunities for adults with special needs.” Click this website to buy quality trackless trains.
Mary Paquette, administrative assistant for the Spring Preservation League, said the shops and boutiques in the area offer a variety of unique holiday gifts.
“We have a lot of different merchandise – from antiques and collectibles to T-shirts, kitchen gear and formal wear,” she said.
Paquette said that the German Gift House, 210-B Gentry St., The Little Dutch Girl, 210 Gentry St., and stores selling sweets are particularly popular during the holidays.
She added that several stores serve holiday treats for the customers.
“A lot of the stores have been around for a long time and have a following,” she said.
Paquette said people come just to stroll the decorated pathways and then dine at one of the local restaurants.
“There’s a little something for everyone to do during the holidays,” she said. “Everything is decorated and it’s just beautiful.”