Wonderland festival to feature new attractions
By Special to the News Messenger
Nov. 2, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Magical holiday memories will be created each night as Christmas delights and the spirit of family is center stage during the 27th Annual Wonderland of Lights Festival beginning Nov. 27 in downtown Marshall.
Festival goers will enjoy millions of Christmas lights and more than 400 lighted Christmas displays, including several new light displays. These lighted exhibits are strategically placed through downtown Marshall allowing visitors the opportunity to see the displays by horse-drawn carriage, or on an English-style double-decker tour bus.
Visitors may also tour the lights in their own vehicle in a newly designed driving route, allowing them to take in Marshall historic sites.
The "crown jewel" of the festival is the Historic Harrison County Courthouse which is adorned with 250,000 LED lights. The courthouse, built in 1901, is also the setting for nightly synchronized light and music shows to a variety of Christmas songs presented by Steve and Penny Carlile and Celebrating Home. The evening light and music shows begin each night at 6 p.m.
The only open air ice skating rink in the Ark-La-Tex, the Samsung Ice Skating Rink has long been a highlight of the annual Wonderland of Lights Festival, with visitors coming to Marshall specifically for the experience. Families enjoy the ice skating rink which provides hours of fun for the little ones, and a challenge for adventurous adults. Couples also enjoy the experience of the ice skating rink, which has a truly romantic appeal.
A new addition to the 27th Wonderland of Lights Festival is the inclusion of steam engine 400. After years of restoration work, Marshall's T&P Depot is ready to show off the historic steam engine displayed on the depot grounds. Called "The Moccasin" for its years of service pulling locomotives out of standing water, the steam engine will be decorated with sparkling Christmas lights this year.
Dozens of activities geared towards children and families round out the Wonderland of Lights Festival. Visitors will enjoy exploring historic downtown Marshall, shopping in one-of-a-kind stores, and dining in locally owned restaurants featuring a variety of menu selections.
For complete festival information, a schedule of events and purchasing tickets, go to <a href="http://www.visitmarshalltexas.org/">www.VisitMarshallTexas.org</a>. Lodging information for visitors staying the night is also available at the same website, or by calling the Marshall Conventions and Visitors Bureau at (903) 702-7777, or on Facebook.
The Wonderland of Lights Festival will open Nov. 27 and will continue in the Washington Square District of downtown Marshall through Dec. 31.