Monday, May 27, 2019
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201081205 Festival of Lights Parade Miller IMG 5808The Festival of Lights has turned the small City of Hidalgo into the Valley’s biggest, glowing Christmasland just in time for the Christmas season. The lights are now on display every night through the month of December.

The city transforms from a mid-size town to a Christmas Wonderland as it puts up more than 500 huge light displays totaling more than five million lights. Narrated guided tours of the city’s festive light displays start at city hall and continue through the month of December – with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas day, the day of the Ramon Ayala Posada (Dec. 20), and New Year’s Eve.

Hidalgo City Hall is the hub of the festival and is located at 704 E. Ramon Ayala Dr. (formerly Texano Dr.), in Hidalgo. On these grounds you will find a stage with nightly entertainment, Santa’s Cottage where you can take pictures with Santa, a carnival, food vendors, an artisans market, and the starting point for guided tours through the displays.

Trolley and Train Tours

There are two tour options available, one that is the tour only and another that is a dinner concert trolley tour package. Here, visitors will take a narrated tour aboard a train or trolley and learn a little about the history of Hidalgo. Trolley or train tour tickets may be purchased for $5 at the ticket booths located in the city hall parking lot. The tours begin at 6 p.m. each night and run until approximately 10 p.m., depending on attendance.

201081205 Festival of Lights Parade Miller IMG 5760However, the best option is the Dinner & Entertainment Package that includes dinner, VIP seating for the evening’s performance on the Christmas Stage and a narrated tour of the lights by train. The cost for the package starts at $12 per person. Choose from dinner package times of 5:15 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. The dinner tours include a roast beef meal complete with musical entertainment. The dinner takes place in front of City Hall from Dec. 1-19 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seating is limited, so early reservations are recommended. Proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations. Call (956) 843-5311 for more information or to make reservations.

Of course, Santa will also be in attendance from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 1 to Dec. 23 in the Hidalgo City Hall Courtyard. Pictures are $15 for one or $20 for two.

Ramon Ayala Posada

The annual Ramon Ayala Posada, hosted by five-time Grammy award-winning artist Ramon Ayala, will be held Dec. 20. According to the city, this is one of the largest single day events in the Rio Grande Valley. Known as the “King of the Accordion,” Ayala has hosted this free concert for years. At the posada, the City of Hidalgo gives away toys to more than 10,000 low-income children. The city and local businesses team up to provide these toys. The posada includes a several top artists who will perform free to the public.

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