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LIST: Holiday events in East Texas for 2020

CBS19 has compiled a list of local holiday events to spread Christmas cheer through the end of the year!

TYLER, Texas — While COVID-19 has taken its toll on a lot of things in 2020, one thing it can't put a damper on is the holiday spirit.

From Thanksgiving and Christmas — to Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve — let's celebrate the end of 2020!

CBS19 has compiled a list of local holiday events to spread cheer through the end of the year!

If you have an event you'd like to add to our list, text us at (903) 600-2600.

Lindale vendors are having a pre-Christmas shopping event with the stores in our immediate vicinity. Each store participating is having their own sales, giveaways, drinks and food. They will have live music set up outside. Organica Body will have the ladies from Twin Pines answering any questions about CBD and educating everyone on all the many benefits. They are hoping that everyone that attends visits each location!

Take in the sounds and lights at the mile-long Carmela's Magical Santa Land with nearly 2 million lights, dancing trees, Nativity scenes and more!

Hours:

  • Sunday - Thursday, 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Friday - Saturday: 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Entry is free but donations are accepted.

Join them at their Thrifty Christmas Grand opening in their main store.

With vendor spaces available to sell jewelry, crafts, food and decorations, the annual Christmas Bazaar is a great spot for finding unique gifts.

Make a handmade holiday wreath for your home. Supplies provided, instructions given, fun included.  

Cost: $20

This captivating story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. The ride includes a recitation of the classic children's books, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, along with hot chocolate, cookies and a visit from Santa Claus. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas. 

Cost varies depending on the choice of tier. Find pricing here.

Join the East Texas Food Bank for the 11th Annual "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" screening at Bergfeld Park in Tyler. Snack bags will be available with snacks from the movie while supplies last. The event is free, but we ask attendees that are able to bring plastic jars of peanut butter to donate for those facing hunger. 

Attendees are asked to wear a mask. The chairs will be sectioned off to maintain six feet between families. You can also bring a blanket and social distance on the lawn.

Santa Claus is coming to (socially-distance) visit with kids in Flint Gypsies. If your children want pictures with Santa or want to leave him a note, this shop can help. Group photos are free, but children will not be allowed to sit in his lap.

Downtown Kilgore will be filled with kids activities, vendors, and entertainment for their annual A Very Derrick Christmas. Come see their iconic row of oil derricks decorated like Christmas trees.

Experience the magic of Christmas at Gladewater’s Annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, Nov. 14, featuring a tree lighting ceremony, shopping, treats, music and family fun!

Troup is inviting you to get a taste of the holiday spirit and celebrate the start of the season with them with a stroll through historic downtown. Shops will open their doors with treats and sales of the season, carolers will provide live music, and even Santa Could make an appearance!

The City of Jacksonville's downtown merchants invites you to join them at their annual Mingle & Jingle event to help support local businesses.

It's the most wonderful time of the year! And it doesn't have to cost you a fortune. On November 19, Hangers of Hope will transform their stores into a wonderland with tons of Christmas decorations, lighting, ornaments, trees and more! Be one of the first in line to get the best selection.

The Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce’s largest and most exciting event is the Annual Christmas in Crockett Arts and Crafts Festival, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Hosting over 200 vendors, a Classic Car Show and every kind of food imaginable, this event is a family-friendly way to explore East Texas!

Gather the family, safe and comfy at home, and tune in as they flip the switch on the millions of lights that adorn their historic, 119-year-old courthouse.

This will be a virtual event streamed via Facebook Live.

Frosty the Snowman, that “jolly, happy soul” whose old silk hat full of magic has turned him into a musical Christmas legend, once again demonstrates his unique showmanship. Narrated by Jimmy Durante, the special also includes the voices of Jackie Vernon (as Frosty) and Billy De Wolfe (as Professor Hinkle). 

There’s still more magic as Frosty Returns to continue his adventure and skate on the edge of danger. Jonathan Winters is the narrator with John Goodman as the voice of Frosty.

Santa will be making a safe and socially distanced at Broadway Mall to visit with children and families for the upcoming holidays. 

Things to know before you go:

  • Reservations are required. Make Santa reservations today by clicking here.
  • For everyone’s safety, visiting Santa will be a socially distanced experience.
  • Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks throughout the duration of each visit. 

The Santa Photo Experience will be open Monday - Saturday from 1p.m. - 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Sundays

Join the city of Marshall for their 6th annual Wassail Walk on National Small Business Saturday. Wassail will be served at various shops and restaurants in their historic downtown area. Participating merchants will be competing for the coveted "Taste of the Town" people's choice award!

Wassail is a hot drink that is made with either wine, beer, or cider, spices, sugar, and usually served with baked apple pies. It is traditionally served from a large bowl, especially at Christmastime. Wassail Walk participants each put their own twists on the recipes, which are heavily guarded secrets among the cooks!

The next evening, Saturday, Nov. 28, the animated special Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire airs. Robbie (voiced by Ben Stiller) must train to compete in the Reindeer Races to become a part of the sleigh team for Santa (voiced by Jim Belushi). 

Then, following from 7:30-8 p.m., Robbie (Stiller) battles Blitzen (voiced by Hugh Grant) in an effort to stop his nemesis’s launch of a reindeer theme park in Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe. Britney Spears, James Woods, Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller are among the additional stars to lend their voices. 

Wrapping up the evening’s animated fun, The Story of Santa Claus airs from 8 - 9 p.m. This musical holiday special revolves around a gentle toymaker (voiced by Ed Asner) whose only wish is to deliver a toy to every child on Christmas. The voices of Betty White and Tim Curry are also featured.

The 90th Annual Kilgore Christmas Parade is set for Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Downtown Kilgore, with the theme "Christmas in the Oil Patch." 

Narrated by Burl Ives, who is also heard as the voice of Sam the Snowman, this favorite is based on the popular song of the same name by Johnny Marks. It recounts the tale of a shy reindeer whose Christmas spirit is dampened because his shiny nose has made him the laughing stock of all of Christmasville.

The annual Light Up the Park event will be held at Hallsville City Park. 

  • Dec. 2 - 5, Times vary: Mistletoe & Magic: Harvey Convention Center in Tyler (IN-PERSON MARKET CANCELED)

The in-person shopping event has been canceled.

RELATED: Junior League of Tyler cancels annual Mistletoe & Magic in-person holiday market due to COVID-19; will pivot to online events, shopping

Santa is coming back to Lindale Floral with Elizabeth Thacker Photography.
They have added an extra hour this year to accommodate traffic flow and early birds.

Santa is headed south to Bear Creek Smokehouse! Join them for their 3rd Annual Breakfast with Santa. Elves will lead the children in helping with Santa's workshop craft, followed by a storytime with Mrs. Claus. And of course, children will be excited to tell Santa their Christmas wishes.  

Tickets are limited and necessary to enter this closed event.
Child tickets cost $25 and a parent ticket (breakfast only) is $10.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Shop until you drop from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  and get those one-of-a-kind gifts for Christmas. Bring the kids for a fun day in "Elf Land." There will be a bounce house, hot cocoa and cookies, a cake walk, games, train rides and more!

The parade and tree lighting will take place at 6 p.m.

Christmas in the Park begins at 3 p.m. with the Christmas Parade and tree lighting starting at 5:45 p.m.

Vendors can apply here.

To apply to be in the parade, click here.

The Longview Arboretum and Nature Center will host Holidaze in the Garden.

This event has been canceled..

The Hospice of East Texas (HOET) invites community members to their Virtual Holiday Remembrance Ceremony via Facebook Live. Much like 2020 as a whole, this annual event is sure to look a bit different than years passed.

This year, the HOET invites residents (virtually) into the home of Stacy Sanders, HOET’s Director of Chaplain & Bereavement Services. From the comfort of your own home, tune in to their Facebook Live event, and take this opportunity to remember your passed loved ones. The program will include live musicians, playing classic holiday songs and a word of encouragement from Stacy Sanders. 

Come do some Christmas shopping with local small businesses and crafters, and help provide Christmas wishes for local foster children. Admission is free. Wishes will be available for sponsorship at the event and gifts can be dropped off at the event as well. All proceeds from the event will go to Christmas for the Least of These (501c3) to purchase gifts for foster children!

 Create bird feeders to help our feathered friends through the winter!

The Outdoor Christmas Market will feature vendors from around the region selling homemade Christmas and holiday crafts, decor, and plenty of great gifts and "stocking stuffers."

Vendors can apply online here. To purchase tickets, click here.

Experience the Christmas spirit in Downtown Tyler.

Join Bullard FUMC at their drive-thru Whoville with colorful scenery and hear "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" in the car as you drive through. Then, park in the church parking lot and watch "The Grinch"  while enjoying popcorn and fun! 

The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. on Buffalo St., with the Snow Day Fest to follow.

The Kilgore Rangerettes Christmas Show began in 2011 and is now an annual tradition. It is a community event including the Kilgore High School Hi-Steppers and Kilgore-area dance studios and features the Kilgore Rangerettes. 

This year the cast welcomes the Longview High School Viewette officers under the direction of Debbie McGowan. It is a Broadway-style show and a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!

Shows will take place Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

To order tickets, click here

The Grace Crossing United Methodist Church will be putting on a Nativity-themed drive-thru Christmas at the old Movie 9 Cinema located next to Gorman-McCracken in Longview.

There will be 13 booths, each depicting part of the story of the birth of Jesus. The last booth will be an empty tomb or cross. After a family drives through the last booth, the kids will get toys.

Established in 1841, Marshall is a community with a rich history. Explore 5 museums with free admission during the event, as well as a walking history tour of downtown.

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