Santa came to Marshall early this year with the grand opening of the brand new Christmas-themed amusement site Piney Park on Thursday.

Hundreds of people came to Marshall, from East Texas, from across the state and even crossing state lines, to see the new Christmas attraction all lit up for the first time.

The park featured a number of local food trucks on their “food truck row,” where community members were able to support the local businesses and get a bite to eat while visiting the attraction.

Community favorites like Mega Bites, Davis Grill, Poke in the Eye, and more were on sight on Thursday night to feed the grand opening crowd.

The park also hosted a mini Christmas market, where 19 local vendors and small business owners set up shop. Community members were able to browse the home made products, featuring holiday themed crafts and home décor, clothing, music, and more.

Natalie Coulter, one member of the two member family who owns and operates Piney Park, said that the park will also regularly feature live music, with April Smith playing opening night.

Piney Park also offers a range of children’s activities, including two bounce areas, hay bales to climb and play on and even a 30-foot sack slide. Families were able to get their pictures taken with Santa Claus while at the park, with no additional payment required for the activities.

The park’s main attraction, the trail of lights, attracted huge crowds on Thursday, with guests flocking to the long walking trail through the park’s wooded area.

The light display was done by Extreme Lightscapes, and features a number of both traditional and nontraditional holiday displays for the whole family to enjoy.

Halfway through the park’s walk-through light display, community members got the chance to take a break and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee at the Avalanche food truck, located on the trail.

One visitor from Louisiana, Amanda Brent, said that her family traveled from Shreveport to take part in the festivities of opening night.

“We have three kids, so we are always looking for something for all of us to do,” Brent said, “This place, it really is amazing, they are all just having a blast.”

Piney Park will be open to the public through Jan. 1 for its first season, with hours varying by day. More information on the park, and where to buy tickets can be found at www.pineypark.com.

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City Reporter

Jessica Harker has been the city reporter with the Marshall News Messenger since 2019.