Explore The Texas Trail Of Lights This Holiday Season
Dazzling light displays and events illuminate the Lone Star State
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --With the holiday season just
around the corner, Texas is decking the halls and trimming the trees from the
Gulf Coast to the Panhandle Plains. The range of holiday celebrations in Texas
is as diverse as its regions, with millions of lights leading the way to
seasonal fun throughout the state.
"Holidays in Texas mean tradition, and we are proud to share our favorite
festive happenings with visitors. With all of the events, attractions and
celebrations in store, Texas is the perfect place to make lasting holiday
memories," said Brad Smyth, Tourism Director for the Governor's Office of
Economic Development and Tourism.
During the holiday season, hundreds of statewide lighting ceremonies are
guaranteed to delight. From a parachuting Santa to holiday train rides, the
ways to celebrate among the sparkling Texas lights are truly endless. Below is
a sampling of festivities taking place this year. In addition to lighting
ceremonies, visitors can enjoy home tours, train rides, market days,
world-class shopping and more throughout the Lone Star State.
oFestival of Lights at Moody Gardens: November 10-January 5, Galveston
Santa himself will kick off the 11th annual Festival of Lights on November
10 by parachuting in to flip the switch to a mile-long trail of more than
1.8 million lights and 100 sound-enhanced, animated light displays, before
heading over to the South Atlantic exhibit to feed the penguins. Guest can
also enjoy an outdoor ice rink, holiday film screenings and snow tubing.
oUptown Holiday Lighting: November 22, Houston
Every year on Thanksgiving evening, thousands gather for the annual Uptown
Houston Holiday Lighting. This free family event features festive music by
local groups, holiday characters, a special appearance from Santa,
fireworks, and the lighting of more than 500,000 twinkling lights. After
enjoying the lights head over to the nearby Galleria, the fourth largest
shopping domain in the world, to get in some early holiday shopping.
o63rd Annual Holiday Parade: November 22, Houston
One of Houston's most cherished traditions, the Annual Holiday Parade
brings 400,000 visitors to the parade route and nearly two million TV
viewers at home. Promenading around downtown Houston are six floats and
six enormous helium-filled balloon figures, joined by local marching
bands, musicians and performers.
oDickens on The Strand: December 1-2, Galveston
For two days in December, The Strand in Galveston transforms into bustling
Victorian London from the days of Charles Dickens. Hundreds of costumed
performers, bagpipers and carolers provide constant entertainment on The
Strand, with even the Queen making a special appearance.
oChanukah On Ice: December 9, Houston (www.chanukahinhouston.com)
Houston is skating into the holidays with Chanukah On Ice at the Galleria
Mall Ice Rink. Join Clutch, the Houston Rockets mascot, in skating around
the ice menorah and meet Judah the Maccabee before sampling the Chanukah
gelt and latkes.
oTexas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail: November 1-January 1
Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Johnson
City, Kerrville, Llano, Marble Falls and Wimberley make up the impressive
Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail. Holiday fun can be
found all along the trail, with festivals, parades, caroling, holiday
markets and more for visitors to enjoy.
oZilker Park Christmas Tree Lighting and Trail of Lights: December 16-23,
A beloved Austin tradition, the Trail of Lights is a mile-long, lighted
winter wonderland kicked off by the lighting of the huge Zilker Tree on
December 16. The festivities continue through December 23, with theme
nights, carolers, musicians and dancers making each and every night a
Big Bend Country
oFrontier Christmas: November 30-December 8, Fort Davis
The Christmas celebration in Fort Davis begins on November 30 with
caroling in the town square, followed by cocoa and cookies to warm up
before the lighting ceremony. On December 8, a holiday parade leads to the
local library for a visit with Santa.
oSan Jacinto Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting: December 1, El Paso
The 77th annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony celebrates the holidays
with entertainment and the lighting of the 50-foot Christmas tree,
decorated with 10,800 bulbs and more than 500 ornaments. The annual
lighted Christmas parade follows the tree lighting.
oTour of Lights: December 7-31, Concho (www.conchochristmascelebration.com)
As part of the Concho Christmas Celebration, the Tour of Lights is a 2.5
mile drive through three million lights along the banks of the Concho
River. One of the highlights of the tour is the glittering garden of 20
red and green poinsettia light displays, made up of more than 25,600
oSanta Land: December 10-23, Lubbock
Now in its 56th consecutive year, Santa Land is a beloved Lubbock
tradition that encompasses Christmas tree lightings, carols, and visits
from Santa and Mrs. Claus. The lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree
marks the official opening of Santa Land on December 10.
Prairies and Lakes
oSanta's Wonderland: November 16-December 30, College Station
This dazzling holiday attraction earns its name with a sparkling light
display of 2.5 million bulbs that stretches more than 37 acres. The fun
continues in the nostalgic "Texas Christmas Village" where visitors of all
ages can enjoy train rides, barbecue, holiday movies, a petting zoo and
even a mechanical bull.
oChristmas Capital of Texas® Kickoff: November 19, Grapevine
Grapevine earns its name as the "Christmas Capital of Texas" with more
than 1,400 Christmas events in 40 days. The festivities officially open
with the Kickoff on November 19, where Tom T. Turkey is pardoned by Santa
Claus and the mayor just in time for Thanksgiving. Dallas-based national
pop musician Bean will give a special performance, and children can enjoy
ornament-making and visits with the World's Tallest Elf. In addition,
December 1 marks the Twinkle Light Boat Parade, one of the state's most
original holiday parades. Lake Grapevine transforms into a glittering
spectacle with festively lit watercraft brightening the night.
oWhistle Stop Christmas: November 19-December 31, Cleburne
3.5 million lights decorate Hulen Park each year in Cleburne. The
festivities begin with the annual Christmas parade downtown, followed by
pictures with Santa and live entertainment.
oChesapeake Energy Parade of Lights: November 23, Fort Worth
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the annual Fort Worth holiday parade
will have a special extended route for this year's theme: "The Wonder Of
It All!" More than 100 brightly lit entries make up the parade, flocked
with antique cars, local marching bands, horse-drawn carriages and holiday
characters. The parade concludes with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus,
and the illumination of the 55-foot tall Christmas tree in Sundance
oChristmas in the Square: November 23-January 6, Frisco
The largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas
takes place in Frisco, just north of Dallas. Now in its seventh year,
Christmas in the Square draws more than 650,000 visitors annually to
experience this holiday extravaganza, complete with real snow and a
oHoliday Lighting Festival: November 30, Denton
Capture the true spirit of a small-town holiday celebration at the 24th
annual Holiday Lighting Festival in Denton's Historic Courthouse Square,
where the mayor and one lucky child flip the switch to light up the
20-foot tree. Photos with Santa, horse drawn wagon rides and delicious
food are available throughout the square.
oChristmas Medical Center Holiday Parade: December 1, Dallas
Each year in Dallas over 350,000 spectators gather to watch this annual
holiday parade, benefiting the Children's Medical Center. Now in its 25th
year, local marching bands and performance groups entertain along the
parade route amongst the colorful floats and giant balloon characters.
oLighting of the Doves: November 17, The Woodlands
Lighting of the Doves kicks off the holiday season in The Woodlands with
interactive booths and games, a snow play area, balloon artists, face
painters, inflatables, ice carvers, amazing fireworks and more. The
celebration concludes with the arrival of Santa on a decorated boat on The
oWonderland of Lights Festival: November 21-December 31, Marshall
From the opening lighting ceremony on November 21 to the midnight ball
drop on December 31, the Wonderland of Lights Festival encompasses the joy
of the holidays in Marshall. Other events include the Wonderland 5k Run
and Walk and a lighted Christmas parade through town.
oRail of Lights: November 22-December 23, Jefferson
Step back in time aboard a 50-year-old steam train on the Historic
Jefferson Railway. The train circles the Piney Woods along the Big Cypress
Bayou past nativity scenes, a German Market, a General Store, the Angel
Tree, and sparkling light displays.
South Texas Plains
oFord Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony: November 23, San Antonio
Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the River Walk's giant
cypress trees are illuminated with 122,000 shimmering lights. The annual
lighting ceremony and parade is a San Antonio tradition that dates back
over 30 years, with generations of families enjoying the characters,
music, and costumes of this annual event.
oCandlelight Posada: December 8, McAllen (www.exploremcallen.com/events)
This year marks the 30th anniversary of McAllen's Candlelight Posada.The
event kicks off with a caroling nativity procession, followed by a
Christmas parade and the lighting of the Mayor's Christmas tree.
For more information about family-friendly events while on a winter getaway to
the Lone Star State, visit www.TravelTex.com and find us on Twitter
(@texastourism), Facebook and Pinterest.
About Tourism in Texas
Visitors to Texas enhance the state and local economies as evidenced by $63
billion in total travel spending in 2011 and more than 200 million domestic
visitors last year. Travel and tourism directly supported 530,000 Texan jobs
and generated $4 billion in local and state taxes in 2011.
SOURCE Texas Tourism
Contact: Reid Schwartz, +1-512-634-3667, email@example.com, or Abby
Van Uum, +1-512-634-3642, firstname.lastname@example.org, Edelman Southwest
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