Dickinson Festival of Lights - December 15, 2009

by Israel Morales

With a bus loaded full of TI Retirees, we started our way from Bayland Park at 4:00 pm to Dickinson to enjoy the Dickinson Festival of Lights. Although the traffic was heavy, there was no reason to worry. We just relaxed in our seats and left the driving to the bus driver. The bus worked its way to Clifton's Seaside Diner in Dickinson, arriving just before 5 pm.

We arrived at a good time. The diner only had a few customers who were enjoying their seafood and drinks, allowing us to be given super attention and service.

Clifton's Diner offers very good seafood. From the menu there was a choice of Fried or Grilled Shrimp, Catfish, or Chicken. With French Fries or Rice Pilaf, Slaw or Steamed Vegetables, Desert and a Drink.

Since our menu orders had been called in in advance to serve the 32 people in our party, the diner had much of their work figured out. There was very little waiting time for our orders. But what little time we waited to get our orders we took time to chitchat and shoot the breeze. And while we chatted, many of us decided to have a drink or two to warm us up. Surprisingly, the drink prices were unbelievably low.

The diner was very comfy and cozy. Situated right on the bay, its bay windows offered a great seaside view. The food was excellent. Nora and I chose Catfish and were very satisfied with the taste and the large portion served. After having our fill of food and of chewing the fat, it was time for the main attraction of the night - The Festival of Lights.

Come Christmas Season, the small town of Dickinson prides itself in staging a great community effort now known as the Dickinson Festival of Lights at Paul Hopkins Park. We were in awe to say the least. The display of lighted images was a delight to the young and old who visited the park.

The Dickinson Festival of Lights began as an idea between two neighbors, John Montgomery and Robert Morgan in 1998. Shortly after the Idea was formed, the images began to take shape and soon those images were transformed into steel objects wrapped with lights, creating some of the very displays that you see at the Festival today. These two gentlemen left a wonderful legacy to Dickinson, a tradition that the city can be proud of and one where visitors like us can visit and enjoy. We toured the park for an hour giving us enough time to walk the entire display a couple of times and also time to sit chat.

On the way back home there were six lucky drawing winners of gift certificates.

Attending this excellent Day Tour by Charles and Sylvia Slanina was a great way to end the year. Attending were Tony & Susan Leigh, Ralph & Estella Garcia, Nora & Israel Morales, Greg & Rosie Sims, Glen & Legia Haworth, Daren & Jewel Welch, Rita & Tom Bailey, Mary Lee & Howard Cameron, Bill & Mary Young, Bob & Marian Gruber, Dorothy & James Wade, Charles & Sylvia Slanina, Eva Rose, Betty Dixon, Patsy Seay, Gayle Steele, Sally Anderson, Bertha Jackson, Helen Colwell, Jeanne Brandt & Jacqui Brodeuer.

Thanks Charles, Sylvia, you've been great in entertaining us with such interesting and enjoyable tours.