Hundreds celebrate Christmas kickoff the San Antonio way

Hundreds enjoy Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, Ford Holiday River Parade

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds came out to enjoy the 34th annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting that kicked off Friday evening at Travis Park.

The festivities began at 3 p.m. Attendees enjoyed great entertainment, food from vendors and a holiday-spirit atmosphere while awaiting the lighting ceremony, which began hours later.

A 50-foot blue spruce Christmas tree was lit up with more than 10,000 red and white lights, and dozens of gold and silver ornaments were put on it.

Different activities included cookie decorating stations, holiday crafts, free giveaways and letters to Santa, as well as a special visit from Santa.

Shortly after the ceremony, many flocked to the nearby River Walk to continue the Christmas spirit and watch the Ford Holiday River Parade.

This year's river parade theme: Christmas in San Antonio.

The River Walk, as expected, was decked out in thousands of Christmas lights.

A woman from Colorado said the annual event has been on her bucket list.

"I did not expect a parade on the water, so I am excited," she said. "It's been great. We don't usually see stuff like this."

H-E-B provided free VIA bus rides to the tree lighting, as well.

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