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Hometown festivals for the holidays

Written by , published December 4, 2014


December’s arrival means hometown holiday festivals are lighting up almost every community across Texas, large and small.

EisbahnIf you’ve ever wanted to experience a German Christmas celebration, there’s no need to hop on a plane—the rich cultural heritage of Fredericksburg adds authentic German flair to the town’s holiday festivities, including the Eisbahn outdoor ice-skating rink and a German Christmas Pyramid (a spinning, wooden decoration dating to the 1500s that depicts the story of the Nativity and may be the inspiration for the modern Christmas tree). Both can be found on the Marktplatz throughout the season starting on the day after Thanksgiving.

Holiday celebrations continue with the Light the Night Christmas Parade and After Glow downtown on Dec. 5, and the local Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 6. On Dec. 26, the city’s local German club also celebrates “Second Christmas” or Zweite Weihnachten, an afternoon holiday party featuring traditional activities and treats, like stollen fruit cake or warm mulled wine. Later that day, the Pioneer Museum hosts visitors on a separate Candlelight Tour to enjoy music and refreshments along with tours of three historic homes decorated for the season.

In North Texas, Grapevine continues its reign as the “Christmas Capital of Texas” with a sleigh-full of activities. Merrymakers can take a ride on the North Pole Express, visit the “ICE!” and “Lone Star Christmas” exhibits, join in activities at Christmas on Main and more. Visit Grapevine's holiday website for details on the dozens of events this town hosts during the season.

Below you can browse more Christmas festivals spreading cheer across Texas; or find a full list of all December events here. If you haven't already, also check out our list of Christmas light displays across the state. There’s sure to be something that can bring a smile to even the sourest Scrooge!

Week of Dec. 1-7

Abilene: City Sidewalks, Dec. 2 

Alvin: Home for the Holidays, Dec. 5-6 

Athens: Christmas Parade and Holiday on the Square, Dec. 6 

Austin: Holiday Singalong and Downtown Stroll, Dec. 6 

Bandera: Holiday Parade, Dec. 5 

Bellville: Small-Town Christmas, Dec. 5-6

BeltonChristmas on the Chisholm Trail, Dec. 6

Brownwood: Christmas Under the Stars Festival, Dec. 5-6

Caldwell: Old-Fashioned Christmas on the Square, Dec. 5-6

Clifton: Norwegian Country Christmas Tour, Dec. 5-6

Corpus Christi: Harbor Lights Festival, Dec. 6

Dallas: Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, Dec. 6

Denton: Holiday Lighting Festival of Denton, Dec. 5 

El Paso: Celebration of the Lights, Dec. 6 

Elgin: Holiday by the Tracks, Dec. 6 

Ennis: Christmas Parade of Lights and Block Party, Dec. 4 

Ferris: Christmas on the Square, Dec. 6 

Fort Worth: Christmas in the Stockyards, Dec. 6 

Galveston: Dickens on the Strand, Dec. 5-7 

Garland: Christmas on the Square, Dec. 4 

Goliad: Christmas in Goliad, Dec. 5-6

Grapevine: Christmas on Main, Nov. 28-Dec. 21

Houston: Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting, Dec. 5 

Hubbard: Magnolias and Mistletoe Christmas Celebration, Dec. 6 

Huntsville: Huntsville for the Holidays, Dec. 6 

Johnson City: Timeless Christmas at the LBJ Boyhood Home and Johnson Settlement, Dec. 6 

Kilgore: Christmas Under the Stars, Nov. 20-Dec. 15

Lockhart: A Dickens Christmas in Lockhart, Dec. 5-6 

Longview: Christmas at the Courthouse, Dec. 6 

Mesquite: Christmas in the Park, Dec. 4-6 

Nacogdoches: Nine Flags Festival, Nov. 21-Dec. 13

Plano: Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano, Dec. 5 

Rockport: Christmas by the Bay, Dec. 6 

Rosenberg: Christmas in Rosenberg, Dec. 4-6 

Salado: Christmas Stroll, Dec. 5-7, 12-14

San Angelo: Christmas at Old Fort Concho, Dec. 5-7

San Marcos: Sights and Sounds of Christmas, Dec. 3-6 

Sealy: Fantasy of Lights Festival and Parade, Dec. 5-6 

Sherman: Christmas Parade, Snowflake Festival and Tree Lighting, Dec. 5 

Smithville: Festival of Lights, Dec. 6 

Van: Derrick Lighting and Spirit of Christmas Celebration, Dec. 6

Waco: Waco Wonderland, Dec. 6-13

Weimar: Down Home Christmas, Dec. 4


Week of Dec. 8-14

Bastrop: Lost Pines Christmas, Dec. 11-14 

Baytown: Christmas Past and Present, Dec. 13 

Burnet: Christmas Festival on the Square, Dec. 13

Fayetteville: Country Christmas and Homes Tour, Dec. 13

Grapevine: Christmas on Main, Nov. 28-Dec. 21

Kilgore: Christmas Under the Stars, Nov. 20-Dec. 15

Magnolia: Hometown Christmas, Dec. 13

Nacogdoches: Nine Flags Festival, Nov. 21-Dec. 13

Navasota: Home for the Holidays, Dec. 13 

Palo Pinto: Frontier Christmas, Dec. 11 

Salado: Christmas Stroll, Dec. 5-7, 12-14

Tomball: German Christmas Market and Festival, Dec. 12-14 

Tyler: Holiday in the Park and Bazaar, Dec. 12-13 

Waco: Christmas in the Village, Dec. 13

Waco: Waco Wonderland, Dec. 6-13

Washington: Christmas on the Brazos Featuring Barrington’s Candlelight Christmas, Dec. 13


Week of Dec. 15-21

Anson: Texas Cowboys’ Christmas Ball, Dec. 20

Boerne: Cowboy Christmas at Enchanted Spring Ranch, Dec. 20-21

Grapevine: Christmas on Main, Nov. 28-Dec. 21

Kilgore: Christmas Under the Stars, Nov. 20-Dec. 15

San Elizario: Luminaria Lighting and Posadas Celebration, Dec. 20


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