Austin Things to Do: Christmas Downtown-Style

Since 1993, the Holiday Sing-Along and Tree Lighting at the Capitol plus the Congress Avenue Stroll have been a terrific way to kick-off the Christmas holiday season—Austin style.  This Saturday, December 4, the festive evening begins at 6 p.m. with a true caroling sing-along on the steps of the Capitol.  The weather this year might be cool once the sun goes down, so be sure to dress warmly enough.

Of course, it will probably feel pretty cozy with all the crowds.  This event usually draws between 8,000 and 10,000 people each year.  The big moment of the evening will be at 7 p.m. when the 40 foot tree in front of the Capitol is lit.  This is immediately followed by a procession featuring the Austin Bike Zoo. This whimsical menagerie of biking butterflies and boney creatures is worth the trip just to see them, especially since there will not be a First Night parade this year to showcase the group.

After the fun of singing songs, lighting trees and gaping and bicycle artistry, take a stroll down Congress Avenue.  The shops and restaurants from the Capitol to Fourth Street will be celebrating the season with sales, displays and tastings.  The Sustainable Food Center will have a farmers market, music and cultural activities will be offered along the way, and the whole event benefits Caritas of Austin.  So, bring some non-perishable food items to donate and be sure to look for Santa!

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