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Unseasonably warm temperatures attracted a large crowd to Austin’s Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll on the first Saturday in December. As usual, local NPR host John Aielli led the Sing-Along from the steps of the Texas State Capitol. My friends and I managed to weave our way around the side of the building until we were right behind the stage. The songbook included all the traditional favorites, including crowd-pleasers, Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells.
The Sing-along ended with O Tannenbaum and the lighting of the new 40-foot Capitol Christmas tree. I suspect we will see this particular tree for many years to come, since it now displays a light show at the top and bottom of each evening hour.
The Holiday Stroll went south down Congress Avenue from the Capitol grounds. Craft tables and music stages were set up in several locations. We stopped to make s’mores and to listen to local musician, Marcia Ball.
For some reason, most of Congress Avenue was not closed to traffic this year. Combining a large crowd of pedestrians with Saturday evening traffic seemed dangerous, especially with so many children around.