Rowlett Scales Down Holiday Celebrations to Save Money

City combines holiday parade with Christmas events on Saturday

A lot of people are cutting back this holiday season, including one North Texas city.

Rowlett is scaling down its traditional holiday celebrations and combining them into one big event on Saturday.

In the heart of Rowlett, right in front of the doors of City Hall, a lighted Christmas tree stands tall, a sign the holidays are right around the corner.

"The tree is the only thing we're lighting this year," said Rowlett City Councilwoman Cindy Rushing.

This year, Rowlett residents won't have the opportunity to gather around the tree at night after Thanksgiving to watch it come alive as they have in holidays past.

"It's really sad," Rowlett resident Regina Green said. "I love my community, and so I like for the children to be able to come out and see the tree-lighting ceremony."

It won't be the only change this holiday season -- Christmas lights won't brighten up public buildings, either.

"We used to do all the roof lines, which is where the big expense came in," Rushing said.

The city of Rowlett was spending about $21,000 to get into the holiday spirit.

This year, the city will combine the holiday parade with Christmas events on Saturday to save money.

"Financially it was just a smart decision to put both things at the same time," Rushing said. "Our city staff doesn't have to be out here twice blocking down the streets and controlling traffic and parking."

While financially smart, it's also confusing for Rowlett residents who haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet.

"To me, Thanksgiving has always been the start of the Christmas holiday," resident Veronica Morrow said.

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