Santa Claus arrives in downtown Houston on Saturday to start the Christmas season. Rides were given in conjunction with other activities that brought hundreds to Houston.

Houston’s annual Christmas event that allows customers to sample numerous food dishes at merchants took place Nov. 29.

During near perfect weather, hundreds of people visited businesses where competitors had entered their favorite recipes and served as judges by voting for their favorites. The biggest turnout was at Romines Motor Co. Inc. where 22 pies were reported.

Participating businesses and food categories available for sampling and voting:

Dixon’s Buy It Now, Cheesecakes; Community Bank, cheese balls; Consider the Lillies, summer sausage/jerky; D&L Florist, soups; Diane’s Pet Styles, cakes; Forbes’ Pharmacy, dessert/bar cookies; Holy Cross Lutheran Church, salsas; Houston Herald, candy; Jantiques, cupcakes; and Little House Gifts, dips.

Neal’s Sporting Goods, cookies; Orscheln Farm & Home, jams/jellies; Paws N Claws, salads; Pizza Express, banana/spice breads; R.J.’s, chili; Romines Motor Co. Inc., pies; Russell Cellular, brownies; St. Mark’s Catholic Church, fudge; Serenity Wellness Studio, quiche/egg casseroles; The Animal Shelter of Texas County, dog treats; Tax Matters, party mix; Texas County Food Pantry, wings and appetizers; Two Old Gals Bakery, cinnamon rolls; and Houston Visitors Center, muffins.

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