Ready for Christmas in the City?

Published 5:41 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Santa Clause waves to the crowd as he marches down Main Street South for the lighting of the decorations during Christmas in the City last year. -- Herald file photo

The 24th annual Christmas in the City, put on by the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, begins Friday night in downtown Austin.

The event that always kicks off the day after Thanksgiving serves as a catalyst for holiday spirit.

“It just kind of gets you in the holiday mood,” said Jeff Baldus of the Chamber. “It’s a good time. It’s great for the kids.”

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As always, Christmas in the City events are free. Along with sleigh rides, Captain Kirby train rides visits with Santa and entertainment in the Town Center, the Paramount Theatre is again bringing back free entertainment to open the season.

The Paramount will celebrate the night beginning at 7 p.m. with a free teaser of its Dec. 8 showing of “Swingin’ into Christmas.” Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students for the Dec. 8 show, which features many musicians, and benefits the Red Cross.

After the free preview at 7 p.m. Friday, Jane Taylor Dance Academy will perform “The Nutcracker” at 7:30 p.m., which is becoming a holiday staple at the Paramount.

“It is just a great partnership,” Knoebel said. “The Nutcracker is a classic holiday tradition for a lot of people.”

And Christmas cheer only escalates from there, as the other sectors of Austin will celebrate Christmas. Christmas in the Northwest, on Nov. 27, will feature things like live Reindeer, the Austin Bruins’ Bruiser the bear, plenty of free treats, tattoos and more. Christmas in the Southwest is on Nov. 29 and features decorating, free treats, food and retail specials and much more, as well. Christmas in the County will also be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Mower County Historical Society. A complete schedule of activities is available here.