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Christmas comes early to the San Antonio River Walk

Local leaders decided that 2020 warranted the early return of a beloved downtown holiday tradition.

SAN ANTONIO — It's been a rough, strange and most unusual year for virtually everyone in San Antonio as the ongoing pandemic prepares the city for a holiday season of sacrifice and compromise. 

To bring a little bit of much-needed joy, local leaders decided to get a head start on one of the Alamo City's most beloved holiday season traditions— turning the River Walk into a glittering wonderland of lights. 

Mayor Ron Nirenberg himself, complete with Santa Claus hat, counted down to the lighting-up of the display by virtually tuning into Thursday evening's coronavirus response briefing as he completes a two-week quarantine at his home after a weekend COVID-19 exposure scare (he tested negative for the virus on Tuesday, but said he's completing 14 days of isolation as a precaution). 

Later in the evening, we stopped by downtown ourselves to get a first look at the lights, which don't usually turn on until after Thanksgiving. Check out the video for more of the Christmas season's early arrival to the Alamo City!