Marshall's Wonderland of Lights Festival starts Nov. 21 | Community Spirit
With the flip of a switch, more than a million brightly colored Christmas lights will come to life and kick off the 26th Annual Wonderland of Lights Festival in Marshall, TX. The lights will be turned on at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 right in front of the Harrison County Courthouse. It's considered the "crown jewel" of the festival outlined with 150,000 LED lights.
The courthouse, built in 1901, is also the setting for nightly synchronized light and music shows in a variety of Christmas songs presented by Steve and Penny Carlile and Celebrating Home. The evening light and music shows, set to begin at 6 p.m., are in their third year and have become a crowd favorite during the event.
Festival goers will enjoy millions of Christmas lights and more than 400 lighted area Christmas displays. These lighted exhibits are strategically placed downtown and throughout Marshall allowing visitors the opportunity to see the displays by horse-drawn carriage, on a nostalgic English-style double-decker tour bus, or in their own vehicle
One of the most exciting attractions is the Samsung Ice Skating Rink, the only open-air ice rink in the Ark-La-Tex. Ice skating is available nightly, subject to weather conditions. New to the festival this year, kids will love the North Pole Play Land, an area exclusively for children aged 10 and under. It’s all part of the Wonderland Village’s attractions and rides in the courthouse square.
The Washington Square Variety Show is also new this year. The show will begin at 7 p.m. nightly in front of the historic courthouse. This 50-minute show features an entertaining blend of local talent and special artists during the festival. Admission is free, and the show is sure to delight the entire family. After leaving the show, families will enjoy shopping along the Street of Dreams, alive with thousands of pulsating differently colored lights.
Wonderland of Lights Festival will also feature several special events. The Opening Ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. November 21, and will feature the Marshall Symphony Orchestra performing sounds of the season.
Country music artist Jacob Lyda will perform in a free concert on Saturday, November 24. The lighted Christmas parade will be held Saturday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. with each parade entry giving this parade an extra special Christmas flare. Runners can run in the Wonderland 5K event on December 4 at 6 p.m. Two celebrity chef cooking and sampling classes presented by Get Healthy Marshall will be December 1 and December 15. Visitors can ring in the New Year in downtown Marshall when all attractions will be open until mid-night.
The Wonderland of Lights Festival will be open November 21 through December 31, (closed Christmas Eve and subject to local weather conditions ). Operating hours, ticket information, and festival schedules are on www.VisitMarshallTexas.org. Or contact the Marshall Convention and Visitors Bureau at 903-702-7777.