Mike Austin and Chris Gosch taste sugar-free entries at The Health Food Store in 2019.

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After a year’s absence due to COVID-19, the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce will host the annual “Taste of Christmas” food competition today (Nov. 27).

The event is one of several upcoming activities with a holiday-oriented theme that the chamber will sponsor.

Here’s a rundown:

•Nov. 27: The Taste of Christmas.

Participants should drop off their goodies by 9 a.m. at the business featuring their category. Judging starts at 10 a.m., with customers tasting and voting for their favorites.

Winners will be selected at 2 p.m. except where the business closes early.

The City of Houston is making its bus available for transportation during the event.

•Nov. 27 – Dec. 18: Christmas Decoration Contest.

The competition will include residences within a three-mile radius of Houston and businesses within city limits, and prizes will be awarded in both religious and non-religious categories. Participants must register with the chamber.

Out-of-town judges will determine winners.

•Nov. 27 – Dec. 4: Shopkeepers Open House.

About a dozen retail locations around Houston will be involved.

Participants can pick up a “passport” at the chamber headquarters (at U.S. 63 and Walnut Street) or at any of the locations. People who get their passport stamped at all participating stores can leave it at the chamber headquarters, and a drawing will be held on Monday, Dec. 6, for $300 in “chamber bucks.”

Drawings will also take place at each store for $25 winners.

•Dec. 4: Christmas Bazaar.

The annual event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the community building at the chamber fairgrounds on North U.S. 63.

Many vendors and exhibitors will be on hand showcasing a wide variety of products and services. The vendor fee is $15, which includes a table and two chairs.

There is no admission fee for customers and visitors.

•Dec. 11: Christmas Parade.

The annual event will take place at 6 p.m. on Grand Avenue in downtown Houston.

This year’s theme is “A Star Spangled Christmas.” Cash prizes will be awarded to best floats in both religious and non-religious categories ($50 for first-place, $25 for second and $15 for third).

The annual Christmas Parade is one of several holiday activities the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce will host this year.

The chamber is encouraging entries of classic cars, marching bands, horses, youth groups, church groups and more.

The lineup will begin at 5:30 in the parking lot below Hiett Gymnasium on the Houston Schools campus.

For more information, or to register for an activity or event, call chamber director Angie Quinlan at 417-967-2220 or email info@houstonmochamber.com.

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