The 1st annual Blue Santa Crawl
Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Have Fun & Make A Difference in a Child’s Christmas
Turns out you don’t have to wear red to portray Santa Claus and have a fun Christmas holiday season!
Hundreds of Elves & Santa’s will descend on Downtown Tyler to enjoy the holidays, good spirits, and loads of yuletide cheer — all in the name of having fun and making a difference in a child’s Christmas.
This year, December 9th at Visit Tyler’s Hit the Bricks – 2nd Saturday there will be a special emphasis – the Blue Santa Program, benefitting the East Texas Regional Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #51.
100% of the proceeds go to support a child in the FOPolice Blue Santa Program!
The Blue Santa program is a non-profit outreach program that focuses on giving gift cards to needy children and families each year during the holidays.
Each year ETFOPolice provide children that might not have Christmas with gift cards to WalMart. Each selected child gets to go shopping using their gift card. “It’s amazing to watch the children’s excitement as they pick out Christmas presents. It’s so humbling also to see that some select presents for their family and sometimes food and other necessities,” said Chuck Boyce, Community Resource Officer with Tyler’s Police Department. “The Blue Santa shopping trip with the children is truly the highlight of my Christmas every year.”
“Our service to children began back in 2009, serving families in need during the holiday season. With our Blue Santa program, area police officers nominate children that are underprivileged, child victims, and/or are witnesses to crimes that they meet in the community to take Christmas shopping with police officers.”
“The ETFOPolice believes in giving back to the community because not only do we work here, we live here, we shop here, our children go to school here, and we attend churches here. From paying for a child’s funeral to donating to the local school supply drives, the ETFOPolice believes in supporting our community.”
“Last year we served over 40 children and families. This is only possible because of the goodwill and big hearts of the generous citizens, businesses, and civic groups that support us each year. We are excited about making an even bigger impact in the community this year by joining forces with EGuide Magazine and Visit Tyler.”
At this all-day event, families can join the fun during the day on the Downtown Square, then when night time rolls around Santas will come out and the fun begins for adults with a Blue Santa Pub Crawl.
By purchasing a ticket to the Blue Santa Pub Crawl, you will sponsor a child. With your ticket and lanyard, adult Santas will don Santa costumes with blue Santa hats, Santa beards, blinking medallions, jingle bells, and much more!
“We are very excited to support the 1st Annual Blue Santa Crawl. We feel that it will benefit the citizens of Tyler by offering them a fun day that also supports Tyler’s Fraternal Order of Police Blue Santa Program and Hit the Bricks – 2nd Saturday. This is the perfect opportunity to have fun in Downtown Tyler while also making a difference in a child’s life this holiday season,” said Shari Lee, Visit Tyler General Manager/Vice President – Conventions.
Along with area Rudolf Sponsors ASCO Equipment, The Hamptons Senior Living, Allstate Insurance Sharie Withers, Altra Credit Union, United Country Bobo Real Estate, Impressive Image Works & T-shirts, and United Country Bobo Realty, Christmas promises to be merry and bright.
Santa’s Little Helpers Sponsors are Gregory Real Estate, SportsZone, Susan Robinson Jewelry, Dunn Transmissions, Genesis Group, Ye Olde City Antiques, Rosevine Inn, Heaton Dental, and Yamato Japanese Restaurant also are helping to make a difference this holiday season.
Fun for the Family During the Day
There will be food trucks and family-friendly activities happening on and off the square starting at 12 noon. Elves can enjoy the holiday fun at:
- Have your photo taken with Santa in the Santa House! He will be on the Square to take your Christmas Wishlist 4-6pm.
- Mrs. Claus will host Storytime and Cookies on the Square sponsored by the Tyler Library, 2-5pm.
- Carolling on the Square – open to everyone of all ages to join in the fun, 12 noon-5pm!
- The Blue Knights TX XXXIV will have a tent on the square for “Letters to Santa!” The Blue Knights will help families write letters and then mail them to the North Pole! They will have their motorcycles and be dressed in their Blue Knights vests!
- “A Kiss Under the Mistletoe” Photo Booth will be available, sponsored by Allstate Insurance Sharie Withers.
- Vibré Handbell Quartet will perform a special holiday concert at Jack Ryan’s at 6pm.
- Tyler Innovation Pipeline is hosting a Gift Personalization Clinic. They will be waiving the $12 sign-up fee 1-5pm. This workshop is geared toward 16 years old and up.
- The Goodman Museum continues to invite you to stop by and tell them what you are grateful for. The colorful “grateful” notes are being hung on ropes to create a literal trail of gratitude.
- Join Bethel Downtown and The Foundry (6-9pm) for “The Nativity Live.” This free event will bring the Bible to life for people of all ages as they experience the narrative of the birth of Christ.
- Gallery Main Street is hosting a unique Downtown Tyler Artist and Maker Market featuring everything artist- and maker-made at this one-of-a-kind gift market.
- Live Painting by Dace Kidd at ETX Brewery – the painting will be auctioned with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the ETFOPolice Blue Santa program.
- Pinot’s Palette will host a Christmas Paint Party where children of all ages can make Christmas cards for the Blue Santa kids at ETX Brewery.
- Artist Dace Kidd will be doing a Live Painting in honor of the Blue Santa program, then we will auction it and donate 100% of the proceeds to the Blue Santa program! This will take place on the square, starting around 3pm. The silent auction will be held at ETX Brewery.
Food & Drinks
- There will be a Blue Santa Cocktail Contest – try the different creations at Downtown businesses then vote for your favorite.
- For dinner, sink your teeth into one of the local Downtown eateries. Find anything from cheap tacos and bar food to fine dining and everything in between.
- Ted Kamel will be serving holiday favorites on the square 12 noon-5pm.
Several tours will also take place Downtown.
- Azalea Trail of Lights – enjoy an open-air shuttle ride through the lights, 5:30-8:30pm. Board the shuttle at the Goodman Museum, then ride through the Downtown square and continue to the Azalea Trail to enjoy the holiday sights.
- Goodman Museum is hosting a unique opportunity to tour the Goodman Museum at night while the Christmas lights shine brightly throughout this beautiful historic home, 6-9pm. There is free admission to the museum with a suggested donation of $2 per person.
- At 8:30pm, a WALKING Tour of Downtown ($8/person) will be held. Get tickets at toursoftyler.com.
- At 9:30pm, RIDING Tour of Downtown ($15/person) will be held. Get tickets at toursoftyler.com.
There will be music all around Downtown. Those promising a festive night of live music are:
- The Garage Bar
- ETX Brewing Co.
- Rick’s on the Square
- Caroling on the Square all afternoon
- Liberty Hall will host “Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly – A Rockin’ Blue Christmas” with Johnny Rogers, aka Buddy Holly, for a holiday show perfect for the whole family. Johnny will pay tribute to such artists as Buddy Holly, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ricky Nelson, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, and much more! Tickets are $20 at libertytyler.com.
- Strada Caffe will host live Christmas music with Meredith Crawford starting at 11am. They will also have espresso, pastries, mimosas, and a delicious brunch.
While you’re in Downtown enjoying one of the special events, be sure to check a few more gifts off your list at some of Downtown’s shops. These stores offer unique items that can only be found in Downtown Tyler.
El Guapo Records sells vintage and new vinyl records covering all genrés of music.
903 Handmade features collections from quality handmade makers local, around Texas, and around the country.
Ye Olde City Antique Mall will join the Blue Santa fun. Come search for “Free” Blue Treasures – Blue Tags will say “Free for the Blue.” Please, only one per family so others can enjoy the hunt. Also, grab a delicious cookie and ice cold drink while you are there as well as those last minute Christmas gifts.
Of course gift certificates are available from all the area restaurants including Rick’s on the Square, Black Pearl, Jack Ryan’s, Don Juan’s Mexican Restaurant, Moochoo Burrito, and El Lugar.
Fun for the Adults at Night
The fun starts when the sun goes down and the adult Santas come out to play!
Purchase a ticket online at eguidemagazine.com/bluesanta then check in at ETX Brewery starting at 2pm to get your Blue Santa t-shirt and lanyard.
Then go around and pick up pieces to your costumes at Roast Social Kitchen, Stanley’s Famous BBQ, Jack Ryan’s, SportsZone, Don Juan Mexican Restaurant, and The Garage Bar. There will be Blue Santa hats, Santa beards, light-up pins, jingle bell bracelets, and much more. There is no set time, no schedule – just wander around, have fun, and make a difference.
There will be a Group Photo at 7pm at Roast Social Kitchen.
Other activities include:
- Beard Contest. It is free to enter and open to everyone! Categories include Best Santa Beard, Papa Beard (full beard over 6 inches), Baby Beard (full beard 6 inches and under), Double Dapper (full beard with styled mustache) and ‘Stache. If you want to compete, sign-up at ETX Brewery before 6pm. The contest will be held at 7pm. There will be judges, a Crowd Favorite, and lots of prizes.
- A Blue Santa Cocktail Contest will take place at participating restaurants and bars. Special cocktails will be created in honor of the ETFOPolice Blue Santa. ETX Brewery will donate $1 per purchased drink. Don Juan’s is turning their margaritas BLUE for the occasion. Roast Social Kitchen, Stanley’s Famous BBQ, SportsZone, Jack Ryan’s and The Garage Bar have promised very cool concoctions, too!
- A fun and lively Christmas Trivia contest will be held, sponsored by the Tyler Library staff. This will cover Christmas movies, history, little-known facts, and more. The winning team will get bragging rights and the title of Christmas Know-It-All. This will be held at SportsZone, 5:30-6pm. Come early to sign up your team!
A FREE Shuttle is provided to help you around Downtown. This hop on/hop off shuttle will take you around Downtown starting at 12 noon and will be running until 5pm.
Parking is always free in the parking garage and on the square. Valet parking is available on the square after 5pm.
Tickets are online at EGuideMagazine.com/BlueSanta.
Tickets are also available at Tyler Chamber of Commerce (315 N. Broadway, Downtown Tyler), Firestation Auto Center (1008 W. 4th St., Tyler), Roast Social Kitchen (1125 E. 5th St.), and Stanley’s Famous BBQ (525 S. Beckham St.).
For questions call EGuide Magazine at (903)630-3030 or email email@example.com. Sponsorships are still available starting at $250.
East Texas Regional Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #51 is a 501(c)(8) program. Tickets are 100% donation to the ETFOPolice, rain or shine, and non-refundable.