Old Christmas lights to return to SA River Walk

Small LED lights to be repurposed

SAN ANTONIO – Visitors to the River Walk Wednesday night got to see Christmas lights in July,

Downtown Operations personnel were testing an old method with a modern twist.

They were looking at returning to draping the trees with bigger LED lights, instead of wrapping the trees with mini lights, after many residents called for change.

"I think (it's) important that we listened to the community. Secondly, it provides that beautiful twinkled light," said Director of Downtown Operations Jim Mery.

Some folks along the river like the idea of going back to the old way.

"I like them hanging from the trees. It gives a little bit better ambiance," said Diana Atkins, who has been working on the river for 11 years.

But some liked the new look.

"I grew up with the lights hanging down, so the change was good for me," said Randy Martinez, a San Antonio native.

The new draping proposal will be presented to the City Council in August for a vote. If they approve the idea, the draping of 180 trees will start.

There is an added plus to the new look: a significant reduction in cost from the $600,000 it cost last year.

The old mini lights with be unwrapped and then used for trees on street-level parks.

"(We are) bringing in new LED lights with old, traditional draping," Mery said.

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