With temperatures in the mid-60s, this evening’s weather was perfect for Austin’s annual Holiday Sing-Along. From the steps of the Texas State Capitol, John Aielli of local NPR station KUT led thousands in all the season’s favorites, including Frosty the Snowman, Joy to the World, Jingle Bells and Feliz Navidad.
Bill and I wondered if we were going to sing all 23 songs listed in the songbook but John ran out of time and skipped a few. After a rousing O Christmas Tree, the crowd counted down to the tree lighting.
With the tree safely lit and Sing-Alonging successfully completed, it was time for Strolling. A very enthusiastic Minor Mishap Marching Band led the procession down Congress Avenue. According their Myspace page, their genre is “Chinese pop / Healing & Easy Listening / Melodramatic Popular Song.”
The street was filled with bicyclists from the Austin Bike Zoo, plus jugglers, hula hoopers, and stilt walkers. There was serious Strolling as the crowd followed too.
There were fun holiday activities along the way. The Paramount Theatre showed classic Christmas cartoons. Groups performed on small stages. Austin Ballet’s The Nutcracker was projected on the side of a building. And someone gave me a very unique “lollipop” … a yarn ball with a lite-glow stick.
Mother Falcon was playing at the Frost Bank plaza when the procession arrived. The Minor Mishap Marching Band joined them for a lively version of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.
The theme of this year’s Stroll was to “explore the concept of gift as a way to strengthen the bond between Austin’s diverse community and Congress Avenue, the Main Street of Texas.” Thank you to the organizers and participants for this evening’s gift!