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Celebrating 'Capital' Cowboy Christmas

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Santa will be everywhere in the Cowboy Capital of the World this holiday season. There'll be plenty of times and places for good little boys and girls to visit the Jolly Old Elf and give him this year's Christmas list. Don't be too greedy, though, kids!

Although the Texas Hill Country is known for its charming communities, as the official Cowboy Capital of the World, Bandera undeniably has a "boot up" on other areas. Throughout December, visitors can participate in a variety of activities molded in a true western tradition that provide a not-to-be-missed Christmas season for both locals and visitors.
CB Capital Christmas
Presented by the Bandera Business Association, "A Cowboy Capital Christmas," begins at 4:30 pm, Friday, Dec. 5, at the Bandera County Courthouse on Main Street. The festivities feature local children's choirs performing holiday songs and carols. Students from the Pipe Creek Christian School will provide a Living Nativity and Santa will make an appearance, of course.
Additionally, The Almost Patsy Cline Trio will perform at 4:50 pm and later join Lee Haile and Family, the BHS Choir and Band, Lee Harmon and Dave Kemp and the Kemp Family Singers, entertaining shoppers along Main Street.
After the festivities at the courthouse, crowds take to the city streets for the 33rd annual Shoppers Jubilee, a cheery evening of merchant open houses complete with carolers, refreshments and strolling cowboys. Shops stay open until 9 pm, giving shoppers plenty of time to select perfect gifts for everyone on their lists - and don't miss the wassail at Gail Stone Realty!
Parade & more
At 11 am, Saturday, Dec. 6, the annual Cowboy Capital Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Bandera County Chamber of Commerce, heads up Main Street. Be sure to arrive early and secure a front row seat 'cause on one wants to miss cowboys on horseback, horse-drawn wagons and other entries bedecked and bedizened in holiday finery.
After the parade, it's time to scurry over to the Bandera United Methodist Church, 406 11th Street, for the annual Craft and Bake sale - not to mention tasty soup luncheon along with the best cornbread in town.
Also, bibliophiles will want to check out the Bandera County Library's monthly book sale. Slated for 9 am through 1 pm, Saturday Dec. 6, this sale, held inside the library at 505 Main Street, will feature great books at even greater prices for Christmas giving.
Christmas in
Hill Country
From 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday, Dec. 6, and noon until 5 pm, Sunday, Dec. 7, Eva Lee, proprietor of Country Accents Antiques, 8312 Highway 16 South, will host her annual Christmas in the Hill Country Open House in Pipe Creek.
This once-a-year storewide sale features sales on merchandise throughout the complex, including the Main Store and Old Town Store Museum, as well as yard and garden items. Lee's inventory always includes quality American antiques.
The event also features light fare and sumptuous desserts by Chef Aaron of the Backyard Bistro. For more information, call 830-535-4979.
CB Campfire Christmas
Meanwhile, back in Bandera, as the sun sets the evening of Saturday, Dec. 6, the banks of the Medina River in Bandera City Park will be the site of the Cowboy Campfire Christmas in Bandera City Park. Beginning at 5 pm, chuck wagon cooks will offer cookies, campfire coffee and hot chocolate.
At 5:30 pm, Ridin' the River Cowboy Church will feature music and story telling by Lee Haile. At 6 pm, the Bandera County Christian Fellowship will present "A Holy Night," a Living Nativity illustrating the Christmas story. Everyone is urged to lawn chairs to enjoy the programs.
Then it's time to experience the enchanting Christmas lights that become more elaborate each year. As part of the Hill Country Trail of Lights, the banks of the beautiful Medina River have been transformed into a Winter Wonderland that will put everyone in a holiday mood.
Merry Texas
Christmas III
On Sunday, Dec. 7, stories and songs of Christmas will fill the air when Bandera's musical ambassadors - the Almost Patsy Cline Band - take the stage at the Western Heritage Cowboy Church in Pipe Creek. Doors open at 3 pm with the concert beginning at 3:30 pm.
Presented by the Bandera Community Foundation, "Merry Texas Christmas III" includes a narrative that explains the musical selections' special significance to Texas. The afternoon concert includes plenty of music, fun and light refreshment.
Tickets, available at Shoe Biz, 301 Main Street, and the Western Heritage Cowboy Church, are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The Western Heritage Cowboy Church is located at 7146 FM 1283 behind the Lakehills Area Library. Telephone is 830-796-4447.
CB Capital Charity Celebration
From 7 pm to 10 pm, Thursday, Dec. 11, Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar will be jumpin' with the 27th annual Cowboy Capital Christmas Charity Celebration. Enjoy the music of Arkey Blue & the Blue Cowboys during this festive annual event - formerly known as The Christmas Charity Ball - at Arkey's iconic Silver Dollar, 308 Main Street.
Admission is a new toy or canned goods or non-perishable food item for Bandera families who need a boost this holiday season. Helen Hults begins serving her Hill Country Guinness Stew - with all the fixin's - at 6 pm, to come early and bring an appetite! For more information or to make a donation, contact Hults at 210-844-2192.
Take my word, that evening, the buzz in Bandera will be all about Cowboy Capital Christmas Charity Celebration. All proceeds will benefit less fortunate families in Bandera County.
St. Stanislaus
On Friday, Dec. 12, early risers will gather at 5 am at the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church on Cypress Street for Las Mannanitas, which honors the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with traditional songs.
At 6 pm that evening, Matachines will perform outside the church hall, followed by a dramatization inside the church that depicts the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego. At 7 pm, a special Mariachi Mass will be celebrated.
Holiday Tasting Tea
Christmas activities segue into an elegant mode from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, Friday, Dec. 12, with the annual Holiday Tasting Tea at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 403 Highway 173 North.
Highlights are, of course, the delicious offerings homemade by members of the congregation. Do not miss this sumptuous feast; the fare is the stuff dreams are made of. Cost is a $10 donation at the door. Telephone is 830-460-8583.
Singin' in the Saddle
Christmas activities continue at 3 pm, Saturday, Dec. 20, with the annual "Singin' in the Saddle," a Christmas caroling trail ride around Bandera sponsored by the Longhorn Saloon, 1307 Main Street. Wagons will be available for non-riders. Afterward, everyone heads back to the Longhorn for hot chocolate and cookies served from a chuck wagon.
To end the Cowboy Capital Christmas season with a "bang," catch the final performance of the year of Cowboys on Main from noon to 4 pm, on Saturday, Dec. 20, featuring the Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters. Bring the little buckaroos 'cause Bandera's gunfighters are always lookin' to deputize the little ones!
For times and added activities, checkout www.banderacowboycapital.com and click on "Events."