Christmas is a holiday concerned with numbers: 12 days, three Wisemen, five golden rings.
And, for the city of Marble Falls, tourism numbers.
This holiday season, the city rolled out several new events, including a pop-up ice rink and free movies, while Walkway of Lights, the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas display, stretched out in a renovated Lakeside Park.
While it’s difficult to precisely count how many people visited Walkway of Lights, donations rose 20 percent from the previous year. The largest day of contributions was the Saturday before Christmas.
“I know last year was a little bit different because the flood had happened and all that. Still, our donations were up three percent when compared to the previous twenty years,” said chamber Executive Director Jarrod Metzgar. “It was a good year.”
Walkway of Lights was one of the first public uses of Lakeside Park since the city completed major work last year.
Meanwhile, a 40-foot-by-40-foot synthetic ice rink installed in the Marble Falls City Hall parking lot brought in as many as 1,250 skaters over three days in December. The Parks and Recreation Department estimates about 4,000 total visitors to downtown over that weekend. The free movie series sponsored by the city at the historic Uptown theater took in 300 viewers.
“We’re excited that the community rediscovered downtown, especially during such a family-oriented time of year,” Downtown Coordinator Erin Burks said. “We hope to make things bolder next year with the Christmas decorations, including adding more lighting to increase the walkability at night.”