Thanksgiving is over and Christmas lights are finally objectively acceptable. Denton knows it, too.
Next Friday, Nov. 30, the Denton Holiday Festival Association, Inc. (DHFA) will be hosting the annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival at 5:30 p.m. in Denton’s historic downtown. The community event held every second Friday after Thanksgiving will feature music and dance performances, horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s crafts and visits with Santa.
The event was originally organized in order to raise funding to light the trees on the Courthouse-on-the-Square lawn, but the DHFA continues collecting donations to keep the Holiday Lighting Festival running as it has since 1988. Now, however, funding from the private sector and grants go towards holiday street banners, stages and sound equipment, advertisement, food and music.
For parking, there is free parking at the MedPark Station with a free A-Train ride to Downtown Denton using the Secret Code Word: “Jingle Bells.” There is also disabled parking on the west side of the Wells Fargo building on Locust Street. More information on parking and transportation can be found under the parking and transportation dropdown tab at the bottom of the page.
In addition to the Holiday Lighting, the festival will host the Elves Shelves Toy Drive that benefits “families needing assistance during the Christmas season in Denton County,” according to the website. The Wassail Weekend will also start at 5:30 p.m. Friday and will last until 8:00 p.m. that night. Denton Main Street Association (DMSA) will expand hours for its Wassail Weekend to Saturday, Dec. 1 from 2 – 4:30 p.m. For wassail newbies, wassail “is just a fussy Old English word for hot cider,” according to the website.
There are also a few other things to remember before attending the lighting festival. If parents somehow get separated from their children during the event, lost children can be picked up at the Information Booth. While walking around sipping wassail and enjoying the free food provided by sponsors, spectators may find themselves in need of a restroom, which is located inside the Courthouse and Square restaurants. Due to the amount of activity and large number of attendees expected at the event on the square, it is highly recommended that pets are left at home.
Speaking of attendees, the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival is offering brand new Holiday Lighting VIP packages for $150 to support the 30-year Denton tradition. There is only a limited number of VIP tickets left, but the Holiday Lighting VIP package includes valet parking at the Greater Denton Arts Council by Elite Valet, admission and beer for up to five to the VIP event at Armadillo Ale Works, Santa Claus meet and greet with photo ops from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., food from Boca 31 – Denton, a 30-year commemorative Holiday Lighting ornament, two festival T-shirts from Pan Ector Industries and access to a craft activity table for kids from Artists Enclave of Denton County and live music.
For further updates, check their Facebook page.