Have Fun at the Blue Santa Crawl
Turns out you don’t have to wear red to be Santa Claus this Christmas!
Because 100% of the proceeds go to children, you can make Christmas extra special for a child – plus, you can have some fun in the process.
Saturday, December 9th, hundreds of Elves & Santa’s will descend on Downtown Tyler at Visit Tyler’s Hit the Bricks: 2nd Saturday, 2-10pm.
A special emphasis for Hit the Bricks this month is the Blue Santa Program, benefitting the East Texas Regional Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #51 (ETFOPolice). The Blue Santa program is a non-profit outreach program that focuses on giving gift cards to needy children each year during the holidays. Each year ETFOPolice provide children that might not have Christmas with gift cards to WalMart.
“It’s amazing to watch the children’s excitement as they pick out Christmas presents. It’s extremely humbling 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 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.”
Even if you can’t attend the events, you can still donate at EGuideMagazine.com/bluesanta.
At this all-day event, families can join the fun during the day on the Downtown Square, then when night time rolls around the fun begins for adults with a Blue Santa Pub Crawl. By purchasing a ticket, adult Santas can pick up their t-shirt and lanyard, then wander around Downtown businesses to collect Santa costume pieces like 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 East Texas’ 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.
Rudolf Sponsors are ASCO Equipment, The Hamptons Senior Living, Allstate Insurance Sharie Withers, Altra Credit Union, Impressive Image Works & T-shirts, and United Country Bobo Realty and Land Company.
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.
Family Fun During the Day
Come out to enjoy the holidays, good spirits, and loads of yuletide cheer — all in the name of having fun and making a difference. Family-friendly activities will be happening on and off the square starting at 12 noon. Elves of all ages can enjoy the holiday fun Downtown.
- Santa is Coming To Town – Have your photo taken with Santa on the Square 4-6pm.
- Mrs. Claus too! Mrs. Claus will host Storytime and Cookies sponsored by the Tyler Library, 2-5pm.
- Write a Letter to Santa – 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 they will mail them to the North Pole. They will have their motorcycles and be dressed in their Blue Knights vests.
- Under the Mistletoe – “A Kiss Under the Mistletoe” Photo Booth will be available, sponsored by Allstate Insurance Sharie Withers.
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Carol and sing to your heart’s content. This is open to everyone of all ages, 12 noon-5pm.
- Create a Gift – Tyler Innovation Pipeline is hosting a Gift Personalization Clinic. This is free, 1-5pm. This workshop is geared toward 16 years old and up.
- Be Grateful – 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.
- See the Nativity Live – 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.
- Finish your Shopping – 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.
- Make a Card – 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, 2-6pm.
- See Art in the Making – Artist Dace Kidd will be doing a Live Painting in honor of the Blue Santa program, then we will auction it and donate 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 afterwards.
Food & Drinks
- Get your own Jolly Belly – Sink your teeth into one of the local Downtown eateries. Find anything from cheap tacos to fine dining and everything in between. There are plenty of choices plus Ted Kamel will be serving holiday favorites on the square 12 noon-5pm.
- Sparkle & Shine – The Azalea Trail of Lights Tour is 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.
- Explore Christmas’ Past – 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.
- Walking in a Winter Wonderland – At 8:30pm, a Walking Tour of Downtown ($8/person) will be held. At 9:30pm, the Riding Tour of Downtown ($15/person) will be held. Get tickets at toursoftyler.com.
- Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening? Vibré Handbell Quartet will perform a special holiday concert inside Jack Ryan’s from 6-8pm. It is free to attend.
- “Deck the Halls – A Rockin’ Blue Christmas” will be at Liberty Hall for a holiday show perfect for the whole family. Johnny Rogers will pay a holiday tribute to such artists as Buddy Holly, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ricky Nelson, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, and many more! Tickets are $20 at libertytyler.com and at the door. The show starts at 7pm.
- Make a Joyful Noise – Strada Caffè will host live Christmas music with Meredith Crawford starting at 11am. They will also have espresso, pastries, mimosas, and a delicious brunch.
- Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Live music will be at The Garage Bar, ETX Brewing Co., and Rick’s on the Square.
‘Tis the season to shop, and Downtown is a great place to check a few more gifts off your list. These stores offer unique items that can only be found in Downtown Tyler.
Got a music lover on your list? El Guapo Records sells vintage and new vinyl records, CD’s, posters, t-shirts, and more covering all genrés of music. They also have gift certificates.
903 Handmade features beautiful collections of quality handmade goods from local makers around Texas and around the country. This is a great place to shop for a unique personal present. They will be hosting “Selfies with Santa” and other fun events, 12 noon-2pm.
Ye Olde City Antique Mall features old and new alike and will join the Blue Santa fun. Come search for “Free” Blue Treasures. Look for special Blue Tags that 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 too 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 Jack Ryan’s, SportsZone, Don Juan Mexican Restaurant, Garage Bar, Stanley’s Famous BBQ, and Roast Social Kitchen. There will be Blue Santa hats, Santa beards, light-up pins, jingle bell bracelets, glow in the dark bands, 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 8pm 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 (it’s free), 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.
- Blue Santa Cocktail Contest will take place at participating restaurants and bars with special holiday cocktails 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 Garage Bar have promised very cool concoctions, too! You can vote for your favorite.
- Christmas Trivia – A fun and lively 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 starting at 5:30pm. Come early to sign up your team and get set-up to show off your knowledge.
Tickets & More Holiday Cheer
Tickets are online at EGuideMagazine.com/BlueSanta.
Tickets are also available at Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce (315 N. Broadway, Downtown Tyler), Firestation Auto Center (1008 W. 4th St., Tyler), Stanley’s Famous BBQ (525 S. Beckham St.), and Roast Social Kitchen (1125 E. 5th St.).
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.
For questions call EGuide Magazine at (903)630-3030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Texas Regional Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #51 is a 501(c)(8) program. By purchasing a ticket, you are making a donation to the ETFOPolice. Tickets are non-refundable. This is a rain, snow or shine event.