Plans for Bishop's "Christmas in the Park," sponsored by the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, are underway.

This annual celebration is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bishop City Park.

Mayor Victor Ramos will be on hand to signal the lighting of the community Christmas tree, located on the island in Lake LaCour at City Park. Special recognition should be given to the employees of the Maintenance Department of Celanese who erect and maintain the Christmas tree as their holiday contribution to the Bishop Community, Ramos said.

Rev. Melvin Antonio of St. John Lutheran Church will lead in prayer followed by a candlelight walk led by Hal and Pam Ham and the Holy Family, ending at the covered pavilion. The Vincent Family is scheduled to portray the Holy Family (Steve, Jennifer and baby Colt) with their sons Mikel and Jordan as shepherd and angel, respectively.

Battery operated candles with globes will be available for the first 40 adult walkers. These should be picked up before 6:30 p.m. down by the lake, and should be returned to a designated spot at the pavilion. Candles with globes will be available for others, or those who so desire will be allowed to bring flashlights. The public is encouraged to participate.

After the Holy Family and the candlelight walkers arrive at the pavilion, Bishop Chamber president Christina Gutierrez will extend a welcome.

Santa will arrive via fire truck, accompanied by his "elves" (BHS & Jr. High cheerleaders) and

the BHS choir will sing "Here Comes Santa Claus." Santa will kneel before Baby Jesus for a moment of homage to the Christ-child.

Hal and Pam Ham will present a duet to the Holy Family.

Rev. Antonio will offer a prayer, and Santa will then receive visits from the children. While the children talk with Santa, selections will be performed by the BHS band and choir, directed by Steve Edlin and Veronica Lopez.

The Youth Group of First Baptist Church will be on hand to serve hot chocolate to the crowd and cookies will be served, courtesy of Pat's P & A.

The Bishop Centennial Committee will be on hand to sell Centennial T-shirts and the Bishop Chamber of Commerce will be selling historical afghans at a cost of $40 each.

Toys for Tots for the Bishop, Driscoll and Petronila areas will be available for contributions. Toys should be new and unwrapped.

In case of rain, the lighting of the community Christmas tree and the candlelight walk will be cancelled, but the remainder of the program will be held at the Bishop High School auditorium.

Others participating in the Christmas celebration, sponsored by the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, are: Celanese, American Legion Auxiliary, Nueces County Rural Fire Dept., Nueces County Constable, Pct. 3, Bishop Police Dept., City of Bishop (Cynthia Contreras & staff, plus Albert Guajardo & Joe Martinez), Frankie Russell, Jim Russell, Betty Paschal, Robert Gutierrez, Alvin Dragon and Harden Study Club.