The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Downtown Bryan decks the halls with the Lights On! Festival

Photo by File photo by Hannah Shaffer

Downtown Bryan has been decorated for the holidays.

Hang your stockings and say your prayers because Downtown Bryan has officially kicked off its holiday season. 

Historic Downtown Bryan commenced its holiday celebrations with the annual Lights On! Festival that includes holiday pictures with Santa, train rides and live music. The main event was turning on the festive lights throughout all of Downtown Bryan and the Christmas tree. 

Community health senior Shelby McAlister attended the celebration with her friends. McAlister said her favorite holiday is Christmas because of all the happy memories associated with the day.

“I absolutely love everything about Christmas and the holiday season,” McAlister said. “When I heard about this event, I knew I had to go. One of my favorite memories is decorating my Christmas tree with my family and the excitement of seeing my Christmas lights turn on.”

McAlister said this was the first time she had attended the festival, but she would love to go again next year. 

“I think because College Station is such a small city it is hard to host big events like this one, so I always want to take advantage of the opportunity and attend when they do host an event,” McAlister said.  “Especially because I have a dog, it is difficult to find festive events that my dog can come to. I loved walking around with my dog Lanie and seeing all the decorations around the block.”

Alongside her friends, education senior Sarah Guilstorf attended the Lights On! Celebration. Guilstorf said she wished she would have found out about the event earlier in her college years because she had such a good time. 

“Getting to hang out with my friends and get in the holiday spirit is such a gift,” Guilstorf said. “As a senior, I am trying to cherish every moment with my friends and this was such a core memory for me. We took pictures by the Christmas tree and even got some with the Grinch.” 

After watching the Christmas tree and lights get turned on, Guilstorf ventured around Downtown Bryan. 

“We saw the lights turn on and light up the block, it was such a heartwarming experience,” Guilstorf said. “After, we got some hot cocoa and went on the train. It was one of my first times being in Downtown Bryan, so I liked seeing it be so festive and colorful.” 

Allied health senior Kendall Graham said this was her second time attending the Lights On! Festival. 

“I love the Downtown Bryan area,” Graham said. “It has such a cozy atmosphere and delicious restaurants. After watching the lights be turned on, my friends and I went and ate at Rx Pizza. It was a very wholesome night and I’m glad I got to share it with my best friends.”

Graham said her favorite part of the event was the people. 

“Seeing all the families and kids having a fun time is so heartwarming,” Graham said. “I love kids, and they were so adorable in their get-ups. I saw kids dressed up as elves, Santa and even reindeers.” 
As a graduating senior preparing for professional school, Graham said she likes attending these wholesome events to manage the stress of school.
“After taking a hard exam or writing essays, it is so nice being able to walk around and really take in the holiday season,” Graham said. “There’s nothing quite like spending time with your friends and feeling all the Christmas joy.”

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