By LEW K. COHN, Inquirer Publisher
The rest of Texas is finding out a little-known secret — when it comes to towns with the Christmas and holiday spirit, Gonzales is vastly undervalued by the Lone Star State.
That may change after an article on the website travelawaits.com named the “First Shot” town as one of three underrated Texas Christmas that should be on any traveler’s bucket list along with such usual suspects as Fredericksburg and Grapevine.
Gonzales clocked in behind Georgetown and New Braunfels as writer and self-proclaimed Texas travel expert Jill Robbins noted the proximity of the city to Austin and San Antonio as well as the history of the community as the site where the first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired, which already attracts many visitors to Gonzales.
“Although San Antonio and the historic Battle of the Alamo are what sticks in most peoples’ minds when it comes to Texas independence, a dispute over a cannon is what got things started. If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to carve out time to check out the Gonzales Memorial Museum during your stay,” Robbins wrote.
“Gonzales has a charming downtown area positioned around a central square. Decked out for the holidays with lights and other festive accouterments, Gonzales is a fun place to browse local boutiques and soak in the atmosphere.”
Robbins touted two main things in her article that endear Gonzales to Yuletide travelers. The first is the annual Main Street Winterfest celebration, which includes the lighted Christmas parade, the chili cookoff, live music, arts and crafts vendors and the historic homes tour.
She also called the Pioneer Village Living History Center a “fantastic place to go to get into the holiday spirit in Gonzales.”
“This open-air museum has a collection of historic structures that illustrate what life was like for settlers in the mid-to-late 1800s. Their ‘Stars in the Village’ Christmas event includes activities such as popping corn over an open fire, ornament making, musical entertainment, and of course, a visit from Santa,” Robbins wrote. “If you’re not able to make it out during their holiday event, Pioneer Village is still a don’t-miss and is fun to explore during daylight hours.”