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Looking for safe local holiday events? Look no further

The cities of Bryan and College Station are working to make holiday events safe and family friendly.
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 8:39 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Celebrating the holidays may look a little bit different this year, but city officials for both Bryan and College Station are making sure the holiday spirit is still alive.

Visit College Station is hosting multiple events this holiday season, along with teaming up with local hotels to offer holiday packages. The city is also working with Santa’s Wonderland to make College Station a Christmas destination.

Kendra Davis, Events Manager with Visit College Station, says their goal is to help local businesses and offer safe alternatives for the holidays.

“We are inviting people into our community to experience these events,” said Davis. “We know it’s been a really hard year for our businesses and our hotels. So these events, the main purpose of them is to drive people in, not just visitors but locals.”

Each event is being altered to make sure CDC guidelines are being followed. This year, the Christmas in the Park event at Stephen C. Beachy Park is being changed to a drive-thru event.

“People can still come to experience the lights and kind of have that same aspect that has been here in the past, but we just kind of have taken away the person to person contact,” said Davis.

The city has added new events like Howdy Holidays, an outdoor vendor fair in Northgate, and Movie Night at Olsen Park. A full list of College Station events can be found here.

Destination Bryan is also working to bring some holiday cheer with new events and old traditions. This Friday, Downtown Bryan will celebrate its annual Lights On event but with a twist.

“Instead of the ceremony down at a Gloria Sale Park with a giant Christmas tree, we will be having a video playing on the front of the Queen Theatre that has that ceremony pre-recorded, and Santa is still sharing his special message to all the boys and girls of the Brazos Valley,” said Abigail Noel with Destination Bryan.

To help make this and other events happen, Noel says they are working closely with local health officials.

“First and foremost, all of our events have to get approved by the local health department and the Mayor’s Office, so we have to submit an entire COVID-19 plan for our events,” said Noel.

A new event this year is writing letters to Santa. Mailboxes will be placed in three different locations around town, and Noel says Santa will even write return letters to those who turn them in by December 14. The mailboxes will be placed Friday afternoon in front of the Carnegie in Downtown Bryan, at Lake Walk, and at the Natural History Museum at the Brazos Center.

For a full list and information on events happening in Bryan, click here.

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