Themed “A Magical Musical Christmas,” the Van Alstyne Christmas parade for 2017 featured about 60 entries, ranging in style from floats by organizations and families, to decorated classic vehicles, politicians, horses, dancers, and more.

Judy Womack, who organized the event that took place near the Boy Scout Hut on North Waco, and who has helped organize parades in the past, said the parade was by far had the most entries in the longtime town favorite event.

Van Alstyne Police Chief Tim Barnes led the parade with Grayson County Sheriff’s Office representatives closely behind them.

First place went to Kings Trail Church with its replica of the church and horse brigade following along. Second place went to Fierce Motions in Dance with so many of the students dressed in Christmas attire or dance costumers of their choice including a Raggedy Ann. Third place went to the Van Alstyne High School Band which kept music going the entire parade route.

The parade ended near the downtown gazebo and park which recently had been turned into a Christmas magic land by Keep Van Alstyne Beautiful and which was the scene the previous Saturday at Christmas tree lighting festivities.

As soon as he could, Santa and Mrs. Claus visited and had their photos taken with every child. Parents and grandparents were included in those photos as well. At times, after listening to Christmas wish lists, Santa Claus would talk seriously to the children.

“Now, last year, one of you stayed up late, and it slowed ol’ Santa down,” he would say. “This year, I want you all to promise me you’ll go to bed early so Santa can come and you can get up earlier to open your presents.” Children promised — parents grinned.

Each year, the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce sponsors and coordinates the Christmas parade. The Chamber of Commerce served hot chocolate and cookies.