Christmas party, parade Saturday

Santa, new railroad diner car highlights for annual event

Ernest Garza strings lights on town’s ‘official’ Christmas tree in Wolf Park. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Ernest Garza strings lights on town’s ‘official’ Christmas tree in Wolf Park. Reporter/Mike Brown It may not have seemed much like Christmas early in the week, with the temperature in the 80s, but by the time of Rockdale’s annual Christmas parade and party Saturday, old Santa ought to feel right at home.

Cold, and maybe icy, weather is forecast for the weekend. Saturday’s day-long events, conducted by the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, are centered around the I&GN Depot-Museum area and Wolf Park.

And they all lead up to one of the town’s most popular annual events, the lighted Christmas Parade at 6:30 p.m. that winds from downtown to Fair Park.

CLOWNS—Activities will get underway at 9 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.

Many of the activities are directed toward children. Shriner clowns will be on hand with balloon art and the “kiddie train” from past years will return with runs throughout the Wolf Park-depot area.

Face painting and other children’s activities will also be on tap.

Local musical entertainers, including the Communities in Concert Band, will perform in the Wolf Park pavilion.

DEPOT—The restored I& GN Depot, across the street from Wolf Park, will be the site of several events.

Browsers can view a historical quilt show in the depot museum that features dozens of quilts, dating back to the 1890s, and one “mystery quilt.” That 41-square masterpiece depicts area businesses and organizations from decades ago but its origins and age are unknown.

DINER, SANTA— Something new for 2013 is a preview of what Rockdale Historical Society members hope will be the depot-museum’s newest permanent attraction in the not-too-distant future.

Between 2 and 4 p.m., coffee and desserts will be available in the under-restoration 1940s-era railroad dining car, on the depot-museum tracks behind its caboose.

The Cheyenne Mountain was constructed in 1942 and went into service on the Missouri-Pacific Colorado Eagle.

It’s hoped that eventually the diner will become a restaurant or snack bar.

Santa will set up his throne at the depot between 4 and 6 p.m. to hear the Christmas wishes of area children.

Volunteers will read Christmas stories to children, also at the depot, from 12-noon to 2 p.m.

The depot’s extensive model train display, featuring several model villages, will be open during the day.

At 5:30 p.m., just as it’s getting dark, the official Rockdale Christmas tree will be lit at Wolf Park.

A number of downtown businesses will also be open through the afternoon and evening Saturday.

PARADE—The parade gets under way at 6:30 p.m. with radio personalities Charlie and Viva McGregor of KRXT-FM as grand marshals.

It will also feature f loats, bands, horses and plenty of lighted vehicles.

Route is from downtown to Fair Park.

BAZAAR—While not formally part of the Chamber’s Christmas activities, the annual Ladies Society of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Bazaar, always held on the same day, will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the church fellowship building, San Gabriel at Bell.

The Society is selling fund- raising ticket s for $ 1 each after all masses and at The Rockdale Reporter. Prizes include a 50-inch TV, gift cards and a crocheted Afghan.

The bazaar will conclude at 1:30 p.m. with a drawing and door prizes.

The bazaar will offer baked good, arts and crafts and a silent auction.

The kitchen will have chicken stew, menudo and sandwiches for sale with free coffee for visitors while they are shopping the bazaar.

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