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27th Annual Wonderland of Lights Festival in Marshall, Texas

Credit: Ed Michel

Christmas spirit will be center stage in Marshall, Texas on Wednesday, November 27,  during the magical Samsung Holiday Celebration Show, opening the 27th annual Wonderland of Lights Festival.

The Samsung Holiday Celebration Show will feature five local vocalists, supported by one of Marshall’s most beloved treasures, The Marshall Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Leonard Kacenjar. The orchestra’s performance will provide the score prior to the 250,000 twinkling lights being switched on at 6:13 p.m. Adorning the Historic Harrison County Courthouse; the lights truly spread Christmas joy throughout the historic Washington Square District.

At 6:30 p.m., the first Celebrating Home synchronized light and music show of the season will be presented. The historic courthouse with its 250,000 lights provides the setting for the free shows, set to a variety of Christmas songs. The evening light and music shows, having become a must see of the festival, will begin at 6 p.m. after the opening night. The Historic Harrison County Courthouse, built in 1901, serves as an active courthouse, and is the only known working courthouse hosting a Christmas light music show in the United States.  

One highlight of the festival’s opening will be the inaugural showcase of Snowflake, believed to be the largest wooden rocking horse in Texas. Marshall resident and World Champion Barrel Racer Martha Josey will take the first ride on Snowflake, The rocking horse stands 11 feet tall and over 18 feet long from nose to tail and will be a major attraction during the festival.

The Wonderland of Lights festival is also home to the only open-air ice skating rink in East Texas. Long a highlight of the annual festival, the Samsung Ice Skating Rink skaters can view the county courthouse show. Sometimes, even the unexpected occurs with at least three to four marriage proposals occurring on the ice during the holidays.

Visitors to the festival will enjoy millions of Christmas lights and more than 400 lighted Christmas displays. These lighted exhibits are strategically placed in the historic Washington Square District, 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 during a 25 minute tour.

Other festival attractions include Santa’s Workshop, the North Pole Play Land for children, Marshall Mountain and the Polar Challenge. Paired with Marshall’s unique shopping and dining opportunities, the opening celebration of the 27th annual Wonderland of Lights is sure to be special. The festival is open evenings and Saturdays at noon from November 27 through December 31.

For complete festival information, ticket packages and pricing, and lodging information go online to VisitMarshallTexas.org, or call the Marshall Convention and Visitors Bureau at 903-702-7777. 

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