Community Resources

Discover the best in Hill Country Living

Tree lighting, Santa's arrival kicks off holiday celebration

Posted by Vintage Oaks

The official start to the holiday season is here and those living in the Hill Country will want to be a part of this exciting event. Be there for Santa’s arrival and the lighting of the tree in historic downtown New Braunfels on Friday, Nov. 18.

“The City of New Braunfels invites everyone to kick off the holiday season on Friday, November 18th with the arrival of Santa Claus beneath a hundred thousand twinkling lights in historic downtown New Braunfels,” said the New Braunfels Chamber. “The evening will begin at 5:50pm with festive melodies provided by the Comal County Courthouse bells, and the Comal County Community Band will begin playing at 6pm.”

Downtown’s Main Plaza will be shut down starting at 5pm with dignitaries including Mayor Barron Casteel arriving at approximately 6:15pm. Santa is scheduled to arrive in the city on a vintage fire truck escorted at approximately 6:30 p.m.,” with a special “performance by the New Braunfels High School Steel Drum Band during the final hour of the event.”

Don’t forget to bring your appetite! This is a free event, but if you want to enjoy port tamales, Frito pies, hot chocolate and hot cider for sale, you’ll be supporting the fundraising efforts of the New Braunfels Downtown Association. Photos with Santa are also available to benefit charity.

The downtown lighting and arrival of Santa aren’t the only way to get in on the holiday fun in the Hill Country. Several other events and activities will get those who live in New Braunfels or are visiting the area in the joyous spirit.

The famous Santa’s Ranch, home of the favorite Hill Country Christmas lights, is now open. Come see what’s known as the “Greatest Light Display in Texas,” with 1.5 million lights featuring “lit up gingerbread houses, nativity scenes, depictions of the North Pole” plus homemade kettle corn, hot cocoa, roasted pecans, and other holiday treats. Santa’s Ranch is open Sunday through Thursday, 6–10pm and Friday and Saturday, 6–11pm, until January 1.

Photos with Cowboy Kringle are taking place starting this weekend in Gruene. Get pics of your kids (or pets) with Cowboy Kringle, “Gruene’s own brand of Santa,” during this fun annual tradition.

Sights and Sounds of San Marcos is an annual festival taking place in San Marcos from Wednesday, Nov. 30 to Saturday, Dec. 3. This Hill Country holiday festival features a visit from Santa, ice skating, live performances, games and rides, a gift shop, and thousands of twinkling lights on the San Marcos River. 

Another great opportunity to explore Downtown New Braunfels is Wassailfest on Thursday, Dec. 1. This event includes shopping, live music, and Wassail, all while viewing the Christmas lights.

Canyon Lake’s annual festival, North Pole Village, takes place on two weekends, December 10–17 and 17–18, with holiday fun for the whole family including a Toyland, face painting, a live Nativity, letters to Santa, hayrides, caroling, and a pet barn.

Want more information about moving to the Hill Country? Visit Vintage Oaks, with some of the area’s most beautiful Hill Country land for sale plus custom and semi-custom homes and an array of resort-style amenities including multiple pools, ball fields, walking trails, and a Tuscan Clubhouse. Vintage Oaks is the Hill country fastest-growing community in the Hill Country over the past three years and is ideally located on the Texas Wine Trail between Austin and San Antonio.

You can also click below to see new homes that are now available. 

new homes available

Thinking about a home in the Hill Country? Let us help!

Subscribe to Our Blog