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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Sights & Sounds expands light exhibits throughout San Marcos

A+large+tree+of+lights+is+the+center+of+the+Christmas+light+display+at+San+Marcos+City+Park+Tuesday%2C+Dec+15%2C+2020+in+San+Marcos%2C+Texas.

A large tree of lights is the center of the Christmas light display at San Marcos City Park Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 in San Marcos, Texas.

After 34 years of bringing holiday joy to San Marcos, the Sights & Sounds of Christmas Festival canceled its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not allowing this difficult time to take away the holiday spirit, the city has arranged alternative plans to light up the community.
The Sights & Sounds Festival, typically held in City Park, consists of carnival-like attractions, as well as live music, food and light decorations. However, due to health concerns revolving around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, festival runners are unable to host the event this year.
The cancellation of the festival was a hard decision to make, says Daniel Guerrero, the Sights & Sounds media consultant, but Sights & Sounds will continue to spread holiday cheer by providing light exhibits throughout San Marcos until Dec. 31.
“You’ll notice throughout downtown that there are more Christmas lights and decorations than usual, and that’s just the contribution that I think we’re trying to make up for our community because we were not able to have our traditional festival,” Guerrero said.
The light displays can be seen at City Park, San Marcos Plaza Park, CM Allen Parkway, Hutchison Street and downtown San Marcos. 
“We’ve stretched out a little further than we typically would have been, where the lights would have been focused more in the festival round area, but now this year, you know, because of the pandemic, because the festival is canceled and the fact that we’re not going to be using all of our funds for other needs, we stretch those out past the boundaries of the festival grounds,” Guerrero said.
“It’s a beautiful display; we certainly hope that it brings a little touch of that Christmas spirit to everyone during this difficult time.”
Mallory Pittman, a pre-nursing junior at Texas State who says Sights & Sounds normally helped bring the holiday spirit back to San Marcos, believes the light displays can still be beneficial.
“I think still having something is better than nothing,” Pittman said. “How this year has gone, in the past year, I just think that people are taking whatever they can get and hopefully try to make the best of it; that’s what I would do and I still plan on going to see that.”
Lizzie Walker, a Texas State alumna, also believes the lights could still be enough to keep people interested in light of the festival cancellation. 
“I know that in Austin, they’re doing something similar where it’s just a drive-thru Christmas lights type of deal,” Walker said. “I think some of the appeals of Sights & Sounds is definitely the carnival aspect of it though, being able to bring the whole family, kind of having the kids [enjoy] entertainment, watching the music and the shows and things, but I think that people might still go especially with, you know, Instagram being as big as it is. I think it’s a great chance to go kind of get some content, if that’s what you’re looking for, and also just get outside; I feel like everyone’s been stuck in the house so long.”
The cancellation serves as another reminder of everything COVID-19 has altered in San Marcos. But Walker says the city finding a way to still provide joy is a testament to its perseverance through difficult times.
“I think a lot of people would be in agreement that the pandemic has had a lot of people kind of sheltered in,” Walker said. “I think the fact that they’re still willing to go out, put all the lights out to give people an opportunity to get out of their house and go get in the Christmas spirit while still staying safe, I think that’s a really amazing thing. It truthfully just goes to show that even when times are hard, San Marcos is going to pivot and figure it out and try and give the people what they want.”
For more information about Sights & Sounds visit its website.

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  • Christmas lights adorn the trees at San Marcos City Park Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 in San Marcos, Texas.

  • A light display at San Marcos City Park is draped with banners that have the names of Sights and Sounds sponsors Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 in San Marcos, Texas.

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