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Holidays in the Hill Country: Fredericksburg

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Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

By Spring Sault

Tradition speaks of pride in heritage and in family. No place is there more such sentiment than over the holiday season on the banks of the Pedernales River, in Fredericksburg; a town so steeped in its German heritage you can almost literally hear it call out, “Willkommen!“

With a Bavaria-like appeal, the town pays homage to its past through timeless, old-world charm, not to mention the many opportunities it offers to participate in, enjoy and generally make warm memories. In anticipation of a time of endless cheer, Fredericksburg transforms itself into the type of place you would expect to see on the cover of a catalogue. While you won’t necessarily find snow-lined streets, what you will find is a holiday town with a hospitable ambience, idyllic surroundings, and such a broad range of festivities you’ll want to make the “city of steeples” a part of your own traditions.

These are the Holidays in the Texas Hill Country – Fredericksburg:

1. The Great Outdoors

Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

The very first ever volkssport event in the United States was held in Fredericksburg in June of 1976, and the Volkssportverein Friedrichsburg was the first club organized in the U.S. The Pilgrimage Routes in Fredericksburg consist of 3 sanctioned walking routes on which the town hosts a Midnight Volkssport Walk on Dec. 31, 2015, commencing at historic St. Joseph’s Halle between 11 p.m. and midnight. Refreshments include wine, cheese and sweets served prior to the walk, and party favors are also provided. Bring some bells and jingle all the way!

If you crave a challenge, check out the pink granite domes and boulders at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which are estimated to be over one billion years old! Here you have the ability to hike, camp, rock climb and for something a little more romantic, even stargaze. The Hill Country views are spectacular and you can’t beat a legendary climb to cap off your holiday visit! Park closures are possible on weekends and holidays and shuttle services are also available, so please don’t hesitate to check with the park website for more details in advance.

2. The Architecture

Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

Photo: nomadicpursuits.com

If you’re looking for holiday history, Fredericksburg is referenced as the “city of steeples” for its numerous stately churches and ‘old-world’-style buildings that were constructed by its forefathers, now considered jewels in the crown of Texas architecture. Taking a tour of Marienkirche, a restored Catholic Church, or the Vereins Kirche (a.k.a. “Die Kaffee Muehle” or “the Coffee Mill”) will leave any design lover in awe – and that’s only 2 of the many buildings available for viewing over the holiday season.

The 58th Annual Holiday Home Tour takes place in Fredericksburg Sat., Dec. 5, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s tour includes 7 unique homes – 6 restored homes in the town itself, and a restored 1800’s farmhouse in the country! This is self-guided and tickets can be purchased via PayPal on the Pioneer Museum website. Prior to Nov. 28th the cost is $25 per person, and afterwards it will be $30.

3. The Music

Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

Photo: cessna195.org

The Pioneer Museum also hosts the annual Tannenbaum Ball, taking place this year on Saturday, Dec. 12th at St. Mary’s Holy Centre, beginning at 7 p.m. If you’re looking for glitz, glamour and the opportunity to meet someone under the mistletoe, then here is your chance! This event includes a seated dinner, silent and live auctions, a raffle draw and music to dance your Christmas cares away. Individual seating is limited, and all seats are reserved, so if you’re interested in shaking a leg, you’d better get a move on! For table reservations or individual seating contact Jeryl Hoover at [email protected] or by calling the museum at 830-990-8441.

And for toe-tapping, foot stomping music and fun for New Year’s Eve, there’s a 1940’s USO style hangar dance at the Hangar Hotel taking place Dec. 31, 2015, featuring the musical stylings of Bill Smallwood and the Lonestar Swing Orchestra. And do they know how to do it up right! If you need them, swing dance lessons begin at 8 p.m., with the actual dance commencing at 9 p.m. This event includes costume contests, as well as complimentary champagne toast, black-eyed peas, cornbread and party favors at midnight! Wear your military uniform and receive a coupon. Tickets go on sale one month prior to the event and you can contact the front desk at the Hangar Hotel at 844-596-2300 in order to purchase. Please remember all purchases are non-refundable, which you won’t require anyway, since you’ll be having a blast ringing in 2016 in style in Fredericksburg!

4. The Shopping

Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

Photo: fbgstays.com

Eclectic is the best word for your shopping experience in Fredericksburg. No one on your holiday gift-giving list will be disappointed by the selection you’ll have access to, and why should they be? With over 150 shops to choose from, you can get down with your bad shopping self while being the best secret-Santa or face-to-face philanthropist there is! For a detailed listing of shops, please visit http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/shopping/.

And don’t forget Fredericksburg Trade Days! Happening the third weekend of every month, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, you can shop to your heart’s content at over 350 vendors on 7 acres of ranch furniture, jewelry, collectibles and so much more, 7 miles east of the town on Hwy. 290, located at 355 Sunday Farms Lane. Trade Days is also holding its Holiday Encore 2015 event on Nov. 27th. If you’ve completed your shopping (who are you…really?) you can always relax in their Biergarten and enjoy live music while your friends and family try to catch up to you!

5. The Traditions and Festivities

Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

Photo: Light the Night Christmas Parade

Beginning November 15th and running through December 31st, 2015, the town of Fredericksburg’s community calendar is full of fun, old-fashioned festivities! Picturesque settings and familiar holiday décor punctuate your time in this town of tradition and Christmas cheer so greatly you’ll almost think you were in a Norman Rockwell painting. From The Nutcracker and an original performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas at the Fredericksburg Theatre Company (Sunday, Nov. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 – both at 2 p.m.) to the Lighting of the German Christmas Pyramid and Community Christmas Tree (Nov. 27, 2015 at 7 p.m.), right down to the town’s participation in the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail (Nov. 27, 2015 to Jan. 1, 2016), Fredericksburg will be all-a-glitter this year with holiday displays, attractions and activities.

Don’t miss the Light the Night Christmas Parade happening Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., in conjunction with Afterglow – local foods, local wines, holiday shopping and family entertainment under the glow of the magnificent Christmas lights of Fredericksburg’s Marktplatz, free to the public, and open from 3-10 p.m. New to this year’s parade and Afterglow festivities is the Holiday Sharing Village. This is a shopping experience composed of all of the local non-profits coming together in retail exhibits! Any purchases made will serve to benefit these organizations that provide valuable and much-needed local supports, and giving you an experience in the true spirit of the season.

And what better way to experience a truly Texas Christmas than to see it from the perspective of the residents of Tuna? The hilarious holiday sequel to the play Greater Tuna, aptly entitled A Tuna Christmas, will be playing at the Fredericksburg Theatre Company, running weekends, from Dec. 11-20, 2015. This play promises to be a laugh-out-loud take on small town holiday fiascos including lawn display contests and of course the local version of A Christmas Carol. Featuring 2 actors performing more than twenty characters, A Tuna Christmas will light the way through your own holiday dysfunction and bring cheer to even the stingiest of Scrooges!

6. The Wine

Holidays in the Hill Country Fredericksburg

Photo: learn.winecoolerdirect.com

Wait, the what?! Yes, the wine – Fredericksburg is directly located along the Hill Country Wine Trail and has been dubbed “the New Napa” by Huffington Post Canada in 2015 – featuring the 2015 Christmas Wine Affair. Taking place Dec. 4 – 20, 2015 each of the wineries participating in this event will be wrapped up in lights, glistening with a warm glow and inviting you in for a glass of good cheer. With 36 participating wineries, $60 couples’ tickets or $35 individual, 1 collectible ornament from Texas Hill Country Wineries and a 15% discount on 3 bottle purchases, it’s a wine lover’s holiday gift to themselves. Cheers!