By ASHLEY INGE
DUBLIN (November 23, 2018) – The Dublin Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the Dazzling Christmas event on Saturday, Dec. 8 and for the first time in about 30 years, the event will be held on a Saturday instead of a Thursday and it will also be held during the day instead of at night. However, it will be a full day of family-friendly fun with the ‘Hello Santa Parade’ kicking off the excitement at 10 a.m.
“Since Dublin is growing with retailers and people who need to keep their doors open every day and not just on a holiday in Dublin, I got with my Board of Directors and we decided it would be a good year to change it to Saturday and go back to what we used to do,” said Luanne Schexnider, Dublin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
The ‘Hello Santa Parade’ marshal and, of course, the star is Santa Claus. If anyone wants to join the parade, there will be a lineup starting at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.
“It’s not really a judged parade; it’s just more of a ‘come represent and get into the holiday spirit’ kind of thing,” Schexnider said.
The entry fee to participate in the parade is a donation to the Dublin Senior Citizens Center or the Dublin Goodfellows.
There will also be Deck the Hall Door Prizes as well.
“We’re going to do an incentive for Deck the Hall in Dublin Door Prizes, so if they shop during the day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at participating merchants, [then they can win a prize.],” Schexnider said. “They’re all in the downtown area, so you don’t have to drive anywhere, you can just walk and look around, possibly buy something but it’s not mandatory to enter. They put their name and phone number on a ticket and tickets at different stores will be selected or drawn at 3 p.m., and if people have already gone home, they will get a call but it’s a $25 gift certificate for that store. The idea is to encourage people to come to see and enjoy what we have in Dublin.”
Schexnider said Dublin has five museums: two museums at the Dublin Bottling Works, the Ben Hogan museum, the Rodeo Heritage Museum and the Dublin Historical museum and that they are also good for tourists to visit if they don’t want to buy anything.
“[We have five museums]. For a small town, that’s a lot of history,” she said.
The Chamber of Commerce was going to try to have the Dallas Dazzlers, a tap-dancing group, come to perform at Dublin but there was a scheduling conflict. Although the group canceled, Schexnider said that “it’s still going to be a dazzling day in Dublin.”
“We’re going to try to have a few performers that are on floats [who] get off their float and perform under the red light and just do a quick little performance, and then you can catch them doing entertainment later in the day,” Schexnider said.
There will also be a Christmas Carnival for the kids that will be located in the Dublin Bottling Works Celebration Park. Kids can enjoy the bounce house and obstacle course.
Higginbotham Brothers & Co are also providing a Santa’s Workshop. Kids can use scraps of wood and tied-down hammers to build a plane or a box or whatever they would like to build, then, they will take what they made to another station where they can paint it and then leave it to dry. When they come back, they can wrap it at a wrapping station and then they can put it under the tree.
“I think people will really love that, especially for the ones [who are] nostalgic but also for the people [who] did it when they were little, but now they’ve grown up and they have children and nobody really offers that hands-on thing,” Schexnider said.
Children can also get the opportunity to have some sodas with Santa. After Santa finishes with the parade, he will walk under the gazebo where parents can get pictures of their children with Santa. Then, Santa will walk over to Dublin Bottling Works where kids can have a little soda with Santa, take pictures, eat a cookie and make a little keepsake ornament. There will be two sessions: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and then 2 to 3 p.m. and the entry fee for the Sodas with Santa event is $20.
Schexnider said she thinks the event that the community enjoys the most is the parade.
“I really think that we always do a good parade and people who are just passing through might stop just because there’s a parade and a lot of people will do a little Christmas something in their community, but not very many people have a hometown parade like that. I guess you could say it’s a little bit of a holiday practice run for our bigger parade [for our] St. Patrick’s celebration on March 16,” Schexnider said.