By CHERIL VERNON
Old Man Winter and his buddy Jack Frost are still wreaking havoc on Palestine's Christmas events this weekend.
Due to the possibility of inclement weather, the annual Palestine Christmas Parade of Lights has been rescheduled from this Saturday to next Saturday, Dec. 14.
“Weather predictions for Saturday do not seem conducive to parade activities and a number of entries dropped out because of the weather,” Palestine City Manager Wendy Ellis told the Herald-Press Friday. “Rescheduling the parade for next week gives us the best opportunity for people to participate and we want the community and visitors to be able to enjoy it.”
According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Anderson County's forecast for today calls for a 40 percent chance of freezing rain and sleet after noon with a high near 33 and a low around 27. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. On Sunday, there's a 30 percent chance of sleet mainly before noon with the low around 25.
“We will still light the Courthouse Square this weekend so everyone can enjoy it, but we will not hold a lighting ceremony,” Ellis said.
A handful of events will still continue this weekend — including “Christmas in Toyland” Breakfast with Santa, Santa's Magical Workshop, Ladies Day Out Shopping Event, Stained Glass Tour and the Dogwood Jamboree's Christmas show.
A few of the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce's Frost Fest events scheduled to continue this weekend include the “Freeze Your Buns” 5K; and the “Hearth & Tinsel” Tour of Homes from 3 to 6 p.m. by trolley.
Due to the weather, one home owner did drop out of the home tour. However, three homes are still featured on the tour including the following addresses: 616 S. Sycamore St., 412 S. Royall St. and 212 W. Reagan St. Tickets can be purchased at any of the homes on the tour Saturday for $20.
“The trolley will load up for the tour of homes at 2:45 p.m. (today) behind the Chamber office,” Chamber Executive Assistant Kristy Kirkwood said. “Or people can pick up tickets at the homes.”
Whether or not the ice skating rink will be open this weekend in downtown Palestine is still up in the air, as city officials were going to make a decision based on the weather this morning.
“It's possible the ice skating rink could be open during the day (today) but it depends on the weather here. Some of the equipment needed it still in route to Palestine and due to the weather we are not sure if it will come in,” Ellis said.
However, the ice skating rink is scheduled to be open on weekends through Dec. 22, depending on the weather.
Some of the Frost Fest events have been rescheduled for the third weekend in December. The 110-foot snow tubing slide event and Frosty Mug Beer Garden has been moved to Friday, Dec. 20. Entertainment planned in the downtown area for Frost Fest has been moved to Saturday, Dec. 21.
“We are still excited about Frost Fest even though we have had to reschedule events,” Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marc Mitchell said Thursday. “We are expecting a great turnout for the snow tubing slide on Dec. 21. It's definitely a unique event for the folks visiting Palestine and our residents living here to experience the fun of sliding down a hill.
“So Frost Fest will be spread out a couple of weekends now as opposed to one weekend,” Mitchell continued.
Jack Frost's bite on Palestine also has led the chamber to extend the deadlines for the holiday decorating contest and the gingerbread decorating contest.
“We will extend the holiday decorating contest to Dec. 13. It's based on overall creativity and design for residential and business,” Mitchell said. “First place is $500. Second place is $250 and third place is $125.”
Winners of the holiday decorating contest and gingerbread decorating contest will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 21.
Parade entry forms can be picked up and returned to the Palestine Visitor Center, 825 W. Spring St., Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St. and the Palestine Civic Center, 1819 W. Spring St. or faxed to 903-723-1597.