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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

West Orange festival starts holiday season Saturday


Last updated 10/31/2023 at 7:33pm

The Thanksgiving-Christmas season comes alive again in West Orange Saturday as the city hosts its annual Holiday in the Park festival featuring arts and crafts, foods, live entertainment, and a vintage car show.

The free event opens at 9 a.m. and will run until 5 p.m. at Alford-Seale Plaza next to city hall on Western Avenue. Last year, a vintage car show and contest was added and owners of cars may enter their vehicles without a fee.

Holiday in the Park has become a place for people to get a head start on their holiday decorating or Christmas shopping. Vendors sell a variety of goods including handmade yard decorations, wreaths, tree ornaments, jams and jellies, woodwork crafts, and decorated gift baskets.

A wide variety of food vendors will also be onsite selling things like chicken fettuccine, hot dogs, crawfish pistolettes, nachos with different meat toppings, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, barbecue brisket sandwiches, snow cones, red beans and rice, and baked sweets.

The festival has become a tradition for longtime West Orange residents to gather and visit under the live oak trees in the plaza area.

In the center is an elevated gazebo to set the stage for live entertainment. Emcee and singer-guitarist Shon Branham will start off the performers at 9 a.m through 10 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. the West Orange-Stark Elementary School Choir under the direction of Bernita Bias will sing. Songs will include on featuring Brooklyn Johnson and another with Karmyn Joshua as soloist.

The band Make Shift will play from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The band plays songs in genres ranging from country, swamp pop, classic rock, to the blues. Winners of the car show will be announced plus door prize drawings will be held from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

From 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., the Gulf Coast Playboys, a group playing Cajun and country music, will perform. Shon Branham will conclude the program from 4:30 to 5 p.m.

City Secretary Theresa Van Meter said Tuesday that the only vendor spaces left available are three booths with electricity. Information on rental is available at West Orange City Hall during business hours at 409-883-3468.


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