Sights & Sounds Information:


Here are a few fun facts information and stats that you may find interesting!


Attendance: Over a four day period, attendance each year ranges from 45,000 to 70,000 depending on weather.

Philanthropy: In 2015, Sights & Sounds helped local non-profits raise over $125,000.

Non-Profits: Local 501 c organizations range from churches, boy scout troops, shelters, sports groups and more.

Volunteers: We have over 800 volunteers help out each year, and Sights & Sounds relies on 90% of the volunteers from surrounding communities and the local area including students at Texas State University.

Funding: Sights & Sounds is funded by sponsor donations and year-round fundraising events including our annual 5K & Kid’s K Jingle Bell Run, Golf Scramble tournament, and Santa’s River Race.

Proceeds: Sights & Sounds generally breaks even each year but we still manage to share what we can by donating back to the community’s local schools, parks and other non-profit organizations that need help with fundraising.


Sights & Sounds of Christmas started in 1987 and was first located in the San Marcos courtyard. What was first a small kids craft and holiday area lit with Christmas lights then grew to over 900,000 lights along the San Marcos river.

Event Highlights and FAQ:

  • Light show on Santa’s House
  • Ice Skating Rink
  • Carnival
  • Live performances
  • Texas State night on Thursday night! Bring a Date Night! $1 drinks if wearing Texas State clothing
  • Food including Festival Food, such as Kettle Biscuits, Kettle Corn, Turkey Legs, Funnel Cakes, Cotton Candy, Hot Coco, Hot Cider & more
  • Largest 5K Jingle Bell Run in Hays County that runs through downtown with upbeat Christmas music along the course
  • Santa’s Gift Shop filled with holiday vendors
  • Free Petting Zoo
  • Free Candle Making in Bethlehem
  • Free Photos with Santa
  • The Festival is open Wednesday- Saturday, 5pm-11pm. On Sunday ONLY, the carnival is open during the afternoon, and closes before dark.
  • Free arts & craft making for the kids
  • Parking is available at Bobcat Stadium. Head down Aquarena Drive from IH35, and follow the signs. ADA accessible shuttles run every 20 minutes directly to the front gate of the park.
  • Children 12 and under are FREE. Only $5 to get in or $10 for a 4-day pass
  • All purchases must be made with tokens, available at token machines within the park. The only exception is Santa’s Gift Shop.
  • Token machine’s are CASH ONLY.
  • ATM’s are available in the park, but come prepared, the lines are always long.
  • Tickets may be purchased at any of the 4 festival gates, but we are cash only. You may purchase tickets online using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Where was the first Sights & Sounds hosted at?
A: The San Marcos Court house front yard

Q: How many lights are on the famous Sights & Sounds tree?
A: 90,000

Q: What year did Sights & Sounds start?
A: 1986

Q: What was the record attendance crowd set back in 2012?
A: 70,000

Q: What’s the most popular food booth at Sights & Sounds?
A: Kettle Biscuits

Q: Has it ever snowed during the Sights & Sounds of Christmas?
A: Only once. It’s sleeted other times too.

Santa Q&A Trivia:

Q: What are Santa’s favorite kind of cookies?
A: Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

Q: How many reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh?
A: Nine, including Rudolph

Q: What is Mrs. Claus’ first name?
A: Merry

Q: What does Santa do in the off-season?
A: Makes toys, duh!

Q: How much does Santa weigh?
A: 260 lbs.