Bastrop is a wonderful place to live or visit year-round, but a Lost Pines Christmas is truly a unique and magical time. Christmas light displays, festive events, fun parades and homes decked out in their holiday best make for a memorable time for all ages. Here are a few tips on what’s going on in Bastrop.
START YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING EARLY
Bastrop is known for its creative artists and artisans, and nowhere is that more evident than the Merry Market. Held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the Lumberyard Music Hall, 1109 Main St. in Bastrop, the free event – presented by Bastrop Area Clay Artists – is the perfect place to get a jump on your holiday shopping. Original artisan jewelry, ceramic, wood, textiles and more will be available.
Handmade original arts and crafts for sale and a silent auction for charity are part of a special Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market artisan event. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 25, you can peruse through creative items such as pottery, paintings, handmade jewelry, tie-dye items, folk art baskets and much more. Make sure to bid on a variety of wonderful gift ideas for loved ones – or for yourself.
The city officially kicks off the holiday season during the 6th annual Wassail Fest & Small Business Saturday, held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 25, along Main Street in Downtown Bastrop. An opportunity to show support for brick-and-mortar local small businesses, the event will include the annual People’s Choice Awards, in which visitors can vote for their favorite hot mulled cider, which will be served throughout the downtown area. While there, make sure to stop by the Bastrop Museum and Visitor Center and hear polka music performed live.
TURN ON THE LIGHTS
The lights shine brightly in Bastrop when the holidays roll around. Kids of all ages will enjoy the annual Lost Pines Christmas Tree Lighting, beginning at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25. If you can, be early to Fisherman’s Park, along the River of Lights, so children can be upfront when Santa Claus makes a special appearance. Admission is free.
After the tree lighting, take a stroll along the Colorado River and see the Bastrop River of Lights. The one-half-mile scenic June Hill Pape Riverwalk will be aglow in a variety of seasonal themes. To access the area, come down the stairs west of the intersection of Main and Pine streets, or head to the fully accessible entrance at Fisherman’s Park on Willow Street. The River of Lights will be viewable daily from dusk to 10 p.m. from Nov. 25 to Jan. 2.
See the wonder of Christmas lights as they move south on Main Street during the annual Lost Pines Lighted Christmas Parade, held at dusk (approximately 6 p.m.) on Dec. 9. There will be 130-plus entries on the parade route, from fancy floats to classic cars and fire trucks to dancing bears. Of course, Santa will be on hand during one of the area’s most popular events.
Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for “A Country Christmas” on Dec. 7. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show featuring the Farm Street Opry Band and guest. Hear some of your favorite country music songs along with holiday classics. Santa is also scheduled to make a special appearance. The price for the event, which is performed at the Bastrop Convention & Exhibit Center, is $7.50 (cash only), with kids under 10 admitted for free.
One of the most beloved Christmas movies has been transformed into a stage play. “It’s a Wonderful Life – Live Radio Play,” performed Dec. 1-17 at the Bastrop Opera House, takes place at a snowbound 1940s radio station, where George Bailey and all of Bedford Falls’ lovable characters recreate the family-friendly tale of love, loss and redemption. Tickets are $25.
HOME, SWEET HOME
Enjoy a celebration of the past by taking a self-paced journey along the Bastrop County Historical Society Holiday Homes Tour. Held from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9, the tour includes four historic homes and the Bastrop Opera House, all listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Docents will be available to answer questions and homeowners will be glad to discuss any renovations or stories related to their homes. Visit the Bastrop County Museum and Visitor Center for more information. Admission for the tour is $20, with children 12 and under with an adult admitted for free.
COME FOR A VISIT
If you’re a first-time visitor to Bastrop, you owe it to yourself to check out all of what our city has to offer. As the “Most Historic Small Town in Texas,” we’ve got plenty of stories to share.
Downtown Bastrop is a lovely area that features charming brick storefronts, artists and crafters displaying their unique creations and a variety of restaurants with delicious down-home cuisine. Drop by the museum and visitor center for more exhibits of Bastrop’s early days, and find out what else you can do during the Lost Pines Christmas. By the way, expect plenty of “hello” greetings from locals, as Bastrop is known for its wonderful Texas hospitality.
There’s no time like the present to plan your Bastrop getaway, whether it’s for a holiday vacation or a brand-new getaway. You’ll find an assortment of places to stay for a night or a week, including hotels, campsites, charming inns or a four-diamond resort property. We hope to see you soon!