Unseasonably warm weather contributed to a large turnout for this year’s Holiday Sing-Along. Several thousand carolers of all ages gathered on the south lawn of the Texas State Capitol to sing secular and religious songs of the season. The event was free, although attendees were urged to bring canned goods for the Capital Area Food Bank.
Local KUTX radio host John Aielli led the hour-long songfest, accompanied by electric piano and another singer. Songbooks were distributed, and John more-or-less followed the printed order until he ran out of time. The most popular songs seemed to be Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bells, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and an acapella Silent Night.
At 7 PM John led a countdown for the lighting of the large-but-fake Capitol Christmas Tree. On a stage next to the tree, The Invincible Czars played rock versions of familiar Nutcracker Suite tunes (currently posted on their website).
The Holiday Stroll was set up on Congress Avenue between 11th and 9th Streets. Bill and I strolled past booths of food and gift vendors, many from the Downtown Farmers Market. Austin Bike Zoo vehicles were decorated for the season and available to ride.
Further down the street, The Contemporary/Jones Center art museum was open for the evening and hosting children’s activities on their rooftop. This was our first time up there. It’s a great view looking down at all the activity on Congress Avenue and across the street at that new Paramount blade.
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