Tree Lighting highlights East Aldine holidays

By Gilbert Hoffman

EAST ALDINE – The East Aldine community enjoyed their second Annual Holiday Festival last Friday night, with the lighting of an immense Christmas tree 30 feet tall, and many other family friendly events.

Hundreds of people of all ages, individuals and families, turned out for the event, which ran from 6pm to 9pm. Some came for the music, some for the food, some for the activities and most all enjoyed the beautiful weather and clear skies.

The East Aldine District sponsored the event, along with the Harris County Sheriff’s office, BakerRipley, and Lone Star College East Aldine Campus. East Aldine’s Event Director Alma DeAlejandro was responsible for the planning of the evening. East Aldine executive director Richard Cantu said that this is an annual event, and that the Christmas Tree was from a commercial source with a five year contract to provide it in the future.

The multitude of people spread themselves through the attractive lawn of Town Center, some content to just view the night and others moving from activity to activity. Many visited with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and gave them a few ideas for their gift list.

The celebration opened with the Humble ISD String Ensemble playing Christmas songs and other popular classics. There was also music from a quartet signing Christmas Carols.

The crowd soon formed at the food line, where delicious tamales, hot chocolate and pan dulce were being served. Photos around the Christmas Tree were very popular, and the Gingerbread Man and the Grinch stood by to join the photo.

Camel Rides were a unique new experience for most, and they provided trips around the perimeter of Town Center, and again there was a long line to enjoy this opportunity.

There was also a Petting Zoo for the kids to enjoy. There were other activities to keep people busy and having fun, too. A Giant Snow Globe was a special attraction. There was a raffle, where the East Aldine District gave out Christmas prizes, and to top off the evening, toys were given out that had been collected during last month’s Toy Drive, and others donated. This allowed them to distribute hundreds of toys and gifts to needy families.

The crowd was estimated at between 500 to 1000 persons, and many brought lawn chairs and blankets to spend the evening. Parking was well managed by the Sheriff’s department, with Lone Star College providing space. Most people indicated they were having a great time, and looking forward to the event every year in the future.

Photos Courtesy of Marina Sugg