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Art&Seek Jr: Kick Off The Season With These Jolly Holiday Events 16

There are a lot of people out there who feel very strongly about rushing the holiday season. I know this because I put our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving evening and got chastised about it by a few family members who aren’t ready to deck the halls just yet. In my defense, we’d already finished the Turkey Day festivities, and the dishes were put away so, in my opinion, Thanksgiving was over. Plus, as I mentioned in this blog a few weeks ago, Thanksgiving is late this year, which means we’re only three short weeks from C Day. Time to put on the jingle bell hat and get this Yuletide train moving!

If you’re still hesitating, check out these FREE events guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.

Photo: Bellissimo Foto

If you’re looking for a holiday event that that’s both picturesque and old-fashioned (in a good way), you don’t have to look any further than Denton’s Holiday Lighting Festival. This unique and genuine small-town celebration happens Friday night, Dec. 6 in Denton’s Historic Square, and it’s far prettier than any holiday card you’ll receive this season. It features food from local vendors, musical and dance presentations, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, and, of course, the traditional lighting of Denton’s Historic Square. The Holiday Lighting coincides with another Denton holiday tradition–Wassail Weekend. That’s when downtown merchants stir up their favorite Wassail recipe (a fancy word for hot cider) and serve it to tasters on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Tasting is free and open to all.

Photo: Dallas Holiday Parade

Hooray! The 33rd Annual Dallas Holiday Parade happens this Saturday morning in downtown Dallas!  This parade, which draws an estimated 500,000 spectators, is guaranteed to fill you to the tippy top with holiday spirit. It includes marching bands, giant helium balloons, spectacular floats, and unique performances. Here are a few tips before you go: 1. Get there early. Parking can be challenging and all the good viewing areas get snapped up, so plan to arrive an hour and 1/2 before the parade starts. 2. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit on (little tushies don’t like sitting on cold pavement). 3. Lastly, dress warmly. Yes, I know the high for Saturday is a toasty 68 degrees, but the parade starts at 10 a.m. and it’ll be a lot cooler then, so bring a warm sweater just in case.

Photo: AT&T Performing Arts Center

After the parade, grab your posse and mosey on over to Klyde Warren Park to celebrate the season at their annual Holiday Show and Tree Lighting. The day-long festivities include music, children’s activities, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and demonstrations from arts organizations. The celebration culminates with a special live show featuring Christmas music, the arrival of Santa Claus and the tree lighting. Following the park’s tree lighting head over to the AT&T Performing Arts Center where the Reliant Lights Your Holidays festivities will be underway. In addition to the millions of twinkling lights illuminating the AT&T campus, there will also be a huge fireworks display and performances by WAR and Mariachi Rosas Divinas.

Photo: Swedish Women’s Educational Association Dallas

Experience traditions from other countries this Saturday. First, there’s the annual St. Lucia celebration and Yule Bazaar Saturday morning at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. You’ll learn all about the legend of St. Lucia, a Swedish symbol of light and hope. She comes on the darkest day of the year with singing, feasting, and the spirit of friendship and goodwill towards all. The event starts with a candlelit procession of St. Lucia and her attendants. She enters the sanctuary accompanied by traditional Swedish choral music. The kids can enjoy Swedish crafts, you can drink some Swedish coffee and the entire family can try a variety of Swedish food and sweets. Next, there’s the Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt, or German Christmas Market Saturday afternoon at the German International School in Farmers Branch. You and your kinder can enjoy a short performance by the students of the school and then say “Guten Tag!” to St. Nikolaus. There will be German food and drinks, German Christmas books, and German handmade arts and crafts for sale at the market.

Photo: Frisco Square

Looking for something to make your holiday merry and bright? Frisco’s Christmas in the Square might be just the ticket. The event is the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas, but in addition to the more than 175,000 lights, it also features ice skating and a tree maze. Best of all, no matter how balmy the Texas winter, it’ll be a white winter wonderland in the Square thanks to their snow machines.

For a list of even more seasonal events, check out Art&Seek’s 2019 Holiday Theme.