On Friday night the San Marco Square was closed to traffic and the Square was bustling with families.
Two large bouncy houses lured the little ones right away, set up in front of the Southside Baptist Church, those beautiful pillars wound with red ribbon, so festive. A live nativity, its lovely tableau depicting the birth of Christ, was offered by the Church and drew children and adults alike, who stood, silently admiring the nativity scene and the live animals surrounding the manger.
Under the golden lights of the gazebo in Balis Park, various choirs of children’s groups, and adults, too, performed. The continuous chorus of live performances was the backdrop throughout the evening of outdoor fun. Delighted children stood in line for their chance to ride the train that toured the Square, and I’m guessing there were several who rode more than once! Trains are magical, and horses are too; as groups across the street gathered for the horse-drawn hayride, and all who wanted to ride were served without much of a wait. It was such fun to see a mini-train circling the Square on one side of the street, while two majestic horses pulling a hay wagon with riders, on the other. Along the way, various shops were open late, and the restaurants were busy with guests all night long. A small petting zoo, complete with precious baby animals, was at the west side of the Square, with enchanted children (and adults) who couldn’t resist patting and feeding the friendly animals. Baby goats and lambs closely followed their mamas, clearly the stars of this little zoo.
Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus were there, receiving visitors and secret wishes all evening long. Their youngest little guest was an 8-week old baby, who Santa held like the old pro he is, being Santa Claus and all. Who knows what hopes and dreams were whispered into his ears that night?!
It was the place to be, too, for grown-ups who enjoy the holiday spirit. Holiday Magic offered shoppers the chance to shop later, to browse the San Marco Bookstore and meet the author of Memories of San Marco, who was signing this special book that residents surely will want to own. Of course, the restaurants did a lively business, and an overall great mood flowed throughout the Square, as everyone enjoyed a little Holiday Magic.