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Denton holiday festival to light up locals’ night
The 24th annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival will take place at 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. this Friday at Denton’s Historic Courthouse on the Square.
“People can expect to kick off the holiday season with an amazing hometown holiday celebration with a little something for everyone,” said Kelley Pound, vice-chair of the Denton Holiday Festival Association, the all-volunteer board that organizes and executes the festival.
The festival will include musicians and dancers performing on and around the Square at seven different locations, as well as food vendors, children’s arts and crafts, photos with Santa and horse-drawn wagon rides. The actual tree lighting will take place at 5:45 p.m.
In true holiday spirit, the festival will also host a toy drive benefitting the Denton County Toy Store. Those interested in donating can bring toys to the southeast corner of the Square during the festival.
Visitors can also take part in the Wassail Fest sponsored by the Denton Main Street Association. Participating merchants on the Square will offer free samples of their wassail recipes, and people can vote on their favorite, Pound said.
“It makes me feel like I am part of the community, and it feels great to be a part of something bigger than just me,” English senior John Sinor said.
Though no strict records are kept since the festival is free, it typically draws anywhere between 5,000 to 8,000 visitors annually.
“I believe this event is such a success every year because of the very unique spirit of community you find in Denton,” Pound said. “We love a good festival in this town, and this one has been a local favorite for going on 25 years because of its storybook quality.”
The Denton Holiday Festival Association (DHFA), established in 1988, is a nonprofit group that’s primary mission is hosting the Holiday Lighting Festival.
They raise funds all year from local businesses and individuals to cover the cost of the event, Pound said.
This year, they have partnered with the A-train’s Wonderland Express to provide an extension in train service that night in order for southern visitors to avoid traffic and parking.
“It sounds really fun, and reminds me of the Trail of Lights back home,” international studies freshman Aaron Davis said. “It’s a chance to start a new tradition in a new place, and I’m excited.”
For more information about the festival, toy drive or the A-train’s Wonderland Express visit dentonholidaylighting.com.