Santa To Return

Santa Claus will return this year for festivities at the Christmas in Garwood, on Saturday, Dec. 1 in downtown Garwood. There will be a cook-off, washer pitching tournament, vendors, food, games for the kids, music, awards for the Citizens of the Year for the neighboring communities of Garwood and Nada and a lighted Christmas parade.

Folks in the communities of Garwood and Nada are counting down for the 10th Annual Christmas in Garwood event on Saturday, Dec. 1.

From the idea of a few, this event took off from the very beginning. Neighboring towns and those who’ve moved away have returned year-after-year to bring the little town of Garwood back to life again.

“I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for 10 years,” Garwood resident Diane Smidovec, who came up with the idea, said. “We started this to make Garwood come back alive again. It made our little town shine.”

To organize that first event, the Garwood Association of Restoration (GAR) was formed with local volunteers. Today this event is still orchestrated by the leadership of GAR committee officers, Larry Smidovec as president, Danny Hughes, vice president; Ruby Hoffman as secretary, Diane Smidovec, treasurer and the following members, Bill Raley, Sheryl Carnes, Catherine Berger, Debbie Kana, Misty and John Pierce, John and Audrey Schneider, Tracy and Lisa Floyd and Crystal and Shawn Evans.

Every year, except last year, Christmas in Garwood was held the first Saturday in December with a couple of those having to be postponed because of bad weather. Last year the committee decided to do the event in the summer, which had a good turnout but the feeling was consentual to return to the December date.

“Summer was a good turnout,” Diane said. “But it was so hot.”

The event gets under way at noon as folks begin to come into town for the opening ceremonies that begin at 2 p.m. At this time the Citizens of the Year will be announced for Garwood and Nada.

New this year is a kids little red wagon contest/parade. That takes place at 4 p.m.

“Kids are to bring their own red wagon,” Smidovec said.

Music will be provided by DJ Billy Macek throughout the day.

Back again this year will be the jackpot chili cook-off, washer toss tournament in both men’s and women’s divisions, antique equipment show, arts and crafts vendors and plenty of food options.

For the kids there will be a Ferris wheel, train ride, games and a visit from Santa. The highlight of the event will be the lighted Christmas parade beginning at dark which will be around 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for various parade entries.

There may be other events going on in the area this same weekend, but if you’re in the area, Smidovec promises this small town holiday festivial will not disappoint.

“The whole town comes out,” she said. “It just overwhelms me ... the participation and the people who make it all happen.”

GAR has planned an outdoor lighted Christmas decorating contest to be held later in December as well.

Since GAR is a non-profit organization, money raised goes back into the two communities of Garwood and Nada for such things as scholarships to graduating seniors at Rice CISD, flags for veterans along the highway and at the Garwood memorial triangle.

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