Now lit up throughout December: The Artistry of
by Lucie Hofheins
Everyone who has taken the Concho Christmas Light Tour has marveled at the life-size Christmas Cards on display. What they might not know is that these works of art are hand painted by a unique and dedicated group of local artists.
Participating sponsors select the card of their choice and submit greeting for design duplication. The BIG difference is—the tour cards are much larger, and therefore require a large work space. In the basement of the Cactus Hotel, the art group gathers as early as September to start on the project. Paint cans and tubes are strewn about, and an assortment of brushes stand in glass jars and cleaning cloths stand ready for any small spills.
The Concho Christmas Celebration began in 1995 with 21 giant cards displayed in the El Paseo de Santa Angela area. Lights and cards were best viewed by walking out to the display. Each year that followed, additional sponsorship added to the card count. The tour was expanded in 1996 to a 2.5 mile driving route along River Drive. The 2007 celebration featured more than 50 holiday greetings along with spectacular light displays and a Live Nativity Scene sponsored by First Christian Church.
The December 8th opening program for the 2007 downtown Christmas Celebration featured the San Angelo Community Band, and choral groups the Tonesmen, and Sweet Adelines.
Wrapping up the evening’s events, the annual Christmas Light parade featured numerous floats covered in lights and an assortment of Christmas decorations. Highlighting the parade, a float featuring Santa’s SHEEP pulling a covered wagon with the leader sporting a red nose was sponsored by the Concho Avenue merchants. The group utilized the fiberglass sheep offered for sponsorship by Downtown San Angelo, Inc. The result brought smiles and giggles from spectators lining the streets.
Concho Christmas Artists
Ivan & Dot White
Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting
A Christmas Tree sporting colorful auto parts is uniquely created by artist, Katherine Pittman
Ivan White last minute touches on greeting card for light tour.