Tis the season in the city; Christmas in the City, holiday events return

Published 7:06 am Thursday, November 24, 2016

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is the annual kickoff to the holiday season.

Christmas in the City returns at 5:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Austin to debut the holiday shopping season.

“It’s just an awesome tradition, a family way to celebrate the holidays,” Austin Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Forstner said.

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The chamber’s annual celebration will start downtown at the corner of First Avenue Northwest and Main Street.

People will meet and walk with Santa, the Austinaires and a cast of holiday characters to the Town Center stage to light the downtown Christmas displays.

Jane Taylor Academy of Dance Christmas Show with scenes from “The Nutcracker” will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Paramount Theatre.

The night will also feature magician Jim Jayes, horse-driven sleigh rides and more with about 25 downtown stores participating.

“It provides an opportunity for everyone to come to these various retail sectors of the community, see what’s available,” Forstner said.

The holiday shopping season is an important time for businesses, as Forstner noted it’s when many look to turn a profit at the end of the year. That’s one reason Christmas in the City aims to bring residents to local businesses.

“Its a very important season for all the businesses, both large and small,” Forstner said.

Christmas in the City is just the beginning.

Christmas in the Northwest in the 18th Avenue shopping district will be 4-7 p.m. Nov. 29.

Christmas in the Southwest in the Sterling Center and surrounding area will be 4-7 p.m. Dec. 2.

Christmas in the East will be 4-7 p.m. Dec. 6 featuring businesses around Jim’s MarketPlace Foods and the 10th Street Northeast/Southeast areas.

For a full schedule of Christmas in the City events and holiday events, along with information on participating businesses, click here:  Kicking off Christmas; Schedule of holiday activities