Even though it will look a little different this year, Marshall’s Wonderland of Lights will kickoff with its annual lighting ceremony Nov. 25.
This year’s ceremony will be hosted virtually and streamed live on Facebook for the community to tune in to, starting at 6 p.m.
To view the event live go to the virtual lighting ceremony’s Facebook page hosted by Wonderland of Lights.
A number of the regular Wonderland of Lights events have been canceled this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. These events include the annual Santa’s Village, ice skating rink, historic carousel and train rides.
However, the traditional carriage rides through downtown Marshall will still be available starting Nov. 25 and running through New Years Eve. Rides will run Tuesday through Sunday evenings in the downtown area.
The carriage rides will be private rides, and are offered in either a carriage wagonette or a carriage limo. The wagonette seats up to eight people, with the limo seating up to six.
Tickets are $35 each for the wagontette rides, and $65 for the limo, and can be purchased online at www.tailoredtek.com/tour-tek-shop. Since East Texas weather can be unpredictable, check the city’s Facebook page each day by 4 p.m. for inclement weather cancelations.
The city’s sixth annual Wassail Walk celebrating Small Business Saturday will take place Nov. 28 in downtown Marshall.
Wassail will be served at various shops and restaurants downtown from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with participating merchants 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.
During the event community members will be voting virtually for their choice for the taste of the town award this year, to help protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, each participating shop will be limited to 50 percent capacity, and community members must practice social distancing throughout the event.
The city also decided not to have a souvenir mug this year, but rather each stop will use individual, single serve tastings to be prepared by a worker in gloves and a mask. Hand sanitation stations will also be available throughout downtown, both outside and in shops.
Community members are also asked to wear a mask during the event when they are not busy eating or drinking.
Outdoor Christmas market
Wonderland of Lights will also have the annual Outdoor Christmas Market will be held over two weekends — Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 — where vendors from the region will be offering homemade Christmas and holiday decor, great gifts and lots of stocking stuffers. The market is held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the downtown area on North Washington.
Wonderland of Sites
On Dec. 19, the annual Wonderland of Sites will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. where visitors and residents can immerse themselves in Marshall’s rich history by tour five museums and a self-guided walking tour through historic downtown.
Admission to the museums is free during the event and museums will have 50 per capacity, social distancing requirements and sanitation stations throughout the event.
Storyfest will be held weekly throughout Wonderland of Lights where people can stroll through downtown to read a page of the book-of-the-week along the way at participating businesses.
Crafts and/or special treats await inside participating shops.
Looking to take the perfect Christmas selfie? Visit the city’s selfie stop where the old Perkins building was located, across from Joe Pine’s Coffee shop.
Visitors can chose from different scenes while being safely distanced inside the space.
Additional Wonderland of Lights events planned for this year will kickoff in December. For more information on this year’s festivities visit www.wonderlandoflights.net.