HIDALGO, Texas (KVEO) — The Hidalgo Festival of Lights has been around for nearly 30 years. It is not going anywhere this year, but it is going to look a little different.
Hidalgo kicked off its 29th annual Festival of Lights this week. It features messages along the path paying tribute to victims of COVID-19.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Hidalgo has found a way to keep this tradition alive.
“We’re trying to give people hope that Christmas is still here and Hidalgo is bringing it to you,” said Eric Treviño, General Manager, Payne Arena.
The festival has moved to the Payne Arena and added thousands more lights which you can appreciate in a two-mile drive-thru trail.
“It was very difficult for us to make the choice to come after 29 years of doing the festivals for free at the city, but we’re just taking our precautions,” said Treviño. “We didn’t want any mass gatherings. This is the way of controlling during this pandemic.”
While Tejano legend Ramon Ayala will not host a posada this year, organizers are adding new activities, including movie showings on weekends and visits from Santa.
As for what you won’t have to miss this year? The food court.
“Our vendors are taking all safety precautions, making sure they’re wearing their face masks, gloves, sanitizing everything we have before we hand it to our customers,” Treviño said.
He says despite the adjustment, the community has been supportive and appreciative of the effort to keep the tradition going.
“A lot of our city employees worked very hard to make this happen,” he said.
The attraction is open every evening for the rest of the December and tickets are sold per vehicle.
Tickets start at $20 with a VIP option available.