As weather breached the mid 60s Saturday, locals came out in droves to celebrate the holiday season at Sealy’s annual Fantasy of Lights.
Downtown Sealy and Levine Park summoned thousands from around the county for the festival featuring arts and crafts, food booths, Fantasy sleigh rides, train rides, face painting, the Christmas crafting workshop, camel rides and petting zoo. This year’s theme was a Camo Christmas.
Once again, one of the biggest draws was the artificial snow.
“The snow makes it magical,” said Gabriela Ortega, a resident of Sealy. She said she arrived at the festivities around noon with her two children, Christian and Gabriel, and her sister, Brianna.
Ortega has lived in Sealy for three years but had never attended Fantasy of Lights.
“I’m happy we came,” she said.
Ice Express provided the machine-chopped ice turned snow slope. Ice was crushed and blown into piles before sledding commenced.
This year, no snowball fights broke out as volunteer students from Sealy High and Junior High schools’ national honor societies, Interact Club and football players kept order among the snow-top mounds.
National Helicopter Solutions, a family-owned company from Sugar Land, parked a copter by the U.S. Post Office offering aerial rides to three at a time. Co-owner Thaddeus Walz had two of his pilots on hand to take people 500 feet up and up to 100 miles per hour across the Sealy horizon.
George Smith and his wife, Melissa, and son, Nathan, of Sealy said they came particularly for the helicopter ride. It’s something they’ve never done before.
“It doesn’t feel like we were going 100 miles an hour,” Nathan said.
Sandy Mayberry came to the Kid’s Fantasy events with her son, Glen Mayberry, his wife, Jamie, and her grandson Caleb. Although they arrived too late to see Santa Claus and enjoy some of the kid rides they did get to see the main event.
“The parade is what really brings us,” Sandy said.
Once the sun set, the nightlights came on for Fantasy of Lights parade as spectators unfolded down both ends of Main Street to take in the sights of numerous floats.
Weekend festivities began Friday with a barbecue cook-off at B&PW Park and Hill Community Center and the Jingle Bell 5K and 1K Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.