Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lighting of the Doves 2008 - costumes galore

Russian symphony performer who played traditional Russian songs

Line waiting to experience the ice slide on an inner tube.

Santa Cow (I suppose. We weren't formally introduced.)

Across the waterway from the park. Lights were lit about everywhere in the park to give the place a festive feeling.

A variety of cultural presentation by dance were performed by dance schools and folkloric groups such as this one. Native costumes to celebrate Christmas highlighted the festivities, representing the diversity of culture present in The Woodlands residents and businesses.

Derechin Elementary School ornament trees.

The skating rink

And the familiar Christmas tree

Russian folkore

Japanese booth, one of many countries represented in booths. There were several South and Central American countries represented also.

You know this guy, our own Puffy Pine Cone with his Santa helper's hat

One of the international dance schools present

Another dance school

The 100 foot ice slide

The ice sculpture activity

It was international night in The Woodlands with the grand displays of talent from afar. As The Woodlands celebrated the arrival of a new Christmas season, many joined to witness the fanfare which included celebrities such as Hayes Carll and Grupo Batachá. The fireworks display seemed to be everywhere to those inside and outside of the Town Green Park next to the Pavilion.

This year the ice skating rink has moved to the Waterway at Six Pines on the southern end of the park. The presentation inside and outside looks much the same as in past years.

Derichin Elementary displayed trees of international ornaments from each grade. Congrats children on your work. You did a fine job.

Santa came all decked out landing aboard a boat on the waterway. This is always very popular with the kids, but this year seemed to attract the adults equally.

Based on observations, I would estimate that there were 1000+ cars parked in the two designated parking lots. Add to that those who parked on the streets nearby, one would probably double that number. There is no doubt that thousands of people attended. Traffic was quite congested late in the evening, around 5-6PM and there were many people in the park. The skating rink did not seem full but certainly busy. This is a great family event and it is free except for parking, food and drink and some of the special attractions like the ice skating rink and the ice slide.



Friday, August 1, 2008

A trip aboard the Trolley

In the summer and winter, the Woodlands trolley system is a really good idea! After parking at the mall to go eat lunch today, I needed to take my first trip on a trolley to get to Market Street. I had parked a long way from where I was located and found the stop. Then I said to myself - "it would really be dumb for me to walk all the way to the car and then find a parking spot at Market Street and then walk a long way again. Of course I had the alternative to use Valet Parking, but I do not like other people driving and parking my truck. Guess what? The trolley was AIR CONDIITIONED!!!!!!! I felt really lucky. The trolley arrived within five minutes after my arrival at the Trolley Stop, and the bus driver was really nice. I gave him a business card for this blog, and presto, we talked all the way to Market Street. It was a pleasant drive. We went on the road behind the hotel along the waterway and behind the park. It was scenic and tranquil. Although I had to face the sun again when I exited the trolley, I felt plenty refreshed by the time I arrived at the restaurant in Market Street.

There were two trolleys operating, each heading in a different direction. Our driver said that normally it takes him 20 minutes to make the full trip, but sometimes he transports someone needing a lot of help on and off the trolley. That can add another 5 minutes. Our trip was quick with few passengers.

On the way back, the same driver and some kids with their mom were on the trolley. The children got to ring the bell on the trolley. I waited about 12 minutes this time out in the sun. The kids had a grand time. One thing you can do to ready yourself to be congratulated on your knowledge about our dear state, is to know what the state insect is. Our driver kept us all entertained with questions and facts along the trip back to the mall.

I do encourage residents and visitors alike to use this system. Tip the
driver for his added value. Mine was really good.

A couple of issues became apparent. It sure would be nice to sit under shade and have a fan or something to cool you off while waiting for the trolley. It would also be helpful if we knew how long we may need to wait. If I was working with a schedule, I might have gone and grabbed a drink at the local salon first, but then again, a cold lemonade would have really been the cat's meow at that particular point in this particular day!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July Parade in The Woodlands Texas 2008

Happy birthday America! This year's parade was an excellent event. Put a reminder for next year on your calendar now. Many people watch the parade under the shade trees of Market Street. Others utilize the shade on Lake Woodlands. Some people choose to arrive two hours early to get the prime locations, but many others arrive 20 minutes before the parade and stake out good viewing spots as well. The difference? The sun! Shady spots are occupied first. Some folks bring umbrellas and blankets. Some come by automobile, others come by Bicycle. One family made it a bicycle day - they were going to attend all events and toted their chairs and materials on their bicycles. The day had just started for them. The Market Street businesses which serve breakfast and especially coffee were open to feed the early arrivals. Speaking to one resident very early, I learned that the family has a certain traditional spot they relish and stake out their place a couple of hours early. Yes, tradition has taken hold on the community.

This event had all the traditional home town parade constituents and more - dignitaries, antique cars, motorcycles, horses, firetrucks and emergency vehicles, school bands, clowns, vendors, churches, schools, scouts, radio stations, and parade floats. There were three high school bands and at least three fire fighting organizations represented.

Frank Robinson, outgoing business manager for the Township, was honored this year as the Grand Marshall.

Included was a flyover of an EC145 Life Flight helicopter, supporting the float entry by Hermann Memorial. Their website is Hermann Memorial LifeFlight.

Candy, beads, leaflets and trinkets including yo-yos and Frisbees were passed out by the parade constituents.

Sgt Brice Herring was in charge of safety. He led the parade on his motorcycle to set the tone. The crowd was generally orderly and safety conscious. The parade had the flavor of a small town.

Residents are appreciative of the organization and participation efforts by this year's committee and volunteers headed up by Karen Booren. The committee consisted of Joe Giovanello, Darla Bell, Kim Lewis, Anna Ankalan, Kelly Dietrich, Bill Polk and Karen. "We had 85 volunteers from the National Charity league and another 40 from the community" this year, said Karen. The committee meets all year long planning the event and the result of their labor is certainly worth attending.

Soon, this year's results of the float competition and photographs will be added to the event's website. Click here to view.

Monday, May 19, 2008

An Evening Out on The Woodlands Waterway, a Texas style attraction

The entire family can enjoy an evening out on The Waterway, so can a couple or friends or an individual. This particular evening, the waterway was lit by the lights of the waterway AND the full moon. Children were playing in the wading fountains with parents close by watching, couples were enjoying the romantic atmosphere of a moonstruck night, visitors and residents were taking a ride along the waterway in water taxis, a social event was going on outside in Goose's Acre, a mother duck was escorting her 14 little ducklings along the waterway, the light show at the square was attracting visitors, and families were just out to enjoy the ambiance of the people, attractions and nature surrounding them. This is a great place to be on a warm or cool evening here in The Woodlands.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Woodlands Waterway Square Flickering Fountains

Whether you are visitor or a resident, the Woodlands Waterway is a terrific place to be in the evening, especially in the spring, fall or early summer. It is a nice place to visit during the day as well. This fountain is located just east of the Marriott Hotel and very close to the Tinseltown movie theater. It is a place to sit down and read, a place for lovers, a place for children to play, a place to relax with the sounds of rushing water, a place to enjoy a colored lights water show that is set to music.

The primary fountain of Waterway Square moves a considerable amount of water and changes its pattern continuously. Here it is in its glory.

After the sun sets, the colored lights in the fountains are spectacular and change from green to blue to purple to red. The fountain complex is a constantly changing scene, choreographed to various short songs.

If you look closely, you will see the water dancing and this particular evening, it was dancing under the moonlight.

Additional information about Waterway Square can be obtained from The Woodlands Township website.

Fun Facts About Waterway Square

Monday, April 14, 2008

Introducing About Town

This blog has been created to complement other information in the commentary with commercial and entertainment news. There are a host of restaurants and botiques in our hometown. Our art and entertainment options are growing in diversity, and we need to learn to tap these resources.