Snider Plaza lights up during annual holiday tree lighting

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University Park’s Snider Plaza was abuzz with activity Sunday afternoon as hundreds of Dallas residents gathered in the plaza for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The event began at 1 p.m. and featured entertainment for children, live music and rows of free food.

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Visitors walking near the Snider Plaza Christmas tree. Photo credit: Sabrina Abbas

Rows of booths lined the plaza and local vendors gave out samples of fish tacos, chili and even vegan macaroons. Families and students strolled the Plaza while they enjoyed live entertainment and munched on popcorn.

Javi Bonilla-Mathe, an SMU junior, came to the event to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy some tasty treats.

“My favorite was the chili,” he said. “I actually might go buy some.”

In addition to free food, no one could resist visiting the dogs with DFW Rescue Me, a foster-based rescue group in the Dallas area. Visitors could also get photos taken with a “reindeer,” which was a longhorn wearing a set of reindeer antlers.

The event was put on by The Rotary Club of Park Cities and, in the spirit of giving, collected donations for Phil Romano’s “Hunger Busters” program, which provides meals to food-insecure children in Dallas, as well as the North Texas Food Bank.

Though some believe the weekend before Thanksgiving to be too early to break out the Christmas lights, most visitors seemed happy with the event’s timing.

“In the past they’ve done it the week after Thanksgiving and a lot of people were out of town,” said local resident Randi McParlin. “Given that most of the stores have been fully decorated the past couple of weeks I don’t think it’s too early.”

The ceremony concluded with the lighting of Snider Plaza’s Christmas tree.

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