By Deanna Brown

Daily Sun

Times are lean, and so was Santa at the downtown lighting ceremony Thursday evening.

“There’s no fried chicken. Times are hard,” Brad Haynie said. “Chicken one day, popcorn the next.”

Indeed, the air was filled with popcorn rather than fireworks, due to the brisk wind that picked up. Jazzy Christmas carols courtesy of the Corsicana Swing Orchestra filled the air, and little kids and grownups dance in the streets, while waiting for the lighting of the oil derrick.

Before the CSO came on, the ballet folklorico took place on Beaton Street, to the delight of the small crowd gathered. Children had pictures with Santa in the pocket park, courtesy of Memories by Melissa.

“All my kids were very good, and happy to see Santa,” Melissa Stacy said.

John Bentley and wife Ronalda brought the nephews and niece out, and try to make the event most years.

“I always enjoy myself,” Bentley said. “I enjoy everything, but I miss the fried chicken.”

“I love the fireworks,” Ronalda said. “And the music.”

Malinda Veldman of the Main Street Project said thanks for the event goes to the donors for the Christmas lights, who are E.M. Shepperd Foundation, Larry Morrison and McKee Lumber, Liz and Bob Kingman, Heba and Shawkat Shafik, Brad Haynie, Bob McNutt, Miles Furniture, Leah and Stephen Blackard, Taylor Investments, Prince Fireworks, and a large donation from an anonymous donor.

Verlene Ellis brought her son, John, and his wife who hails from Las Vegas, who wanted to see what life was like in a small town. Verlene was moved by the music, and stepped out to show her “swing.”

“You’ve got to live to be 87 before you can do all this cutting up,” she said, giggling. “This is beautiful music, and I got tired of staying at home.”

Ann and Mike Tanner and their son Colton usually make the downtown lighting ceremony, and Ann commented how beautiful Bettina Hawkins’ horse-drawn carriage was with blue lights all over it.

“We came to watch the lights, then we’ll probably go eat somewhere,” Ann said.

“I don’t know why she came, but I came for Fiesta Grill,” Mike added.


Deanna Brown may be contacted via e-mail at Want to “Sound Off” on this story? E-mail

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