24th annual holiday lights festival expands with concerts and new attractions
MARSHALL, Texas, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wonderland of Lights, a Texas holiday tradition, will bring some of the best loved names in music to this historic East Texas town for a 40-day festival of holiday lights, music and family fun Nov. 24 through Jan. 2.
Wonderland of Lights returns for its 24th season with more than a million lights in hundreds of displays showcasing Marshall's historic town square, the magnificent 1901 courthouse and landmarks around town. The festival expands this year with new attractions, including an all-star holiday concert series in Marshall.
Sounds of the season
Seven-year-old gospel sensation Rhema Marvanne graces Wonderland of Lights opening night ceremonies Nov. 24, the opening act in Marshall's new holiday music series. The Four Tops, the Charlie Daniels Band, Roy Clark, and The von Trapp Children, members of the clan made famous by "The Sound of Music," are among stars coming to Marshall Convention Center through Dec. 18 as part of Wonderland of Lights. Visit Marshall, Texas online for concert schedules or to buy concerts tickets.
Stars of Wonderland of Lights opening night ceremonies Nov. 24 include actress Kirsten Prout, known to fans of the Twilight saga as Lucy in "Eclipse."
Family fun on the square
New attractions at this year's Wonderland of Lights include a trackless mini-train that will carry visitors around Marshall's picturesque town square and a 15-foot, life-sized snow globe that makes Wonderland visitors part of the holiday scene.
The historic Harrison County Courthouse will star nightly in The Wonderland Experience, choreographed light shows that will electrify the town square in another new attraction.
Popular Wonderland diversions return and include an open-canopy outdoor ice skating rink, Santa's Workshop, the Wonderland of Lights holiday parade, and taste treats from Mrs. Claus' Kitchen or Breakfast with Santa. Follow the schedule of events online.
Celebrity chef cooking classes, horse-drawn carriage rides, and bus tours that draw visitors beyond the town square to light displays throughout historic Marshall will appeal to all ages.
Architecture and history buffs can't miss docent tours of the meticulously restored 1901 Harrison County Courthouse, open to public tours for the first time in more than a decade. Admission is free, and tours are conducted by reservation at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays during Wonderland of Lights.
Hours for attractions in the 2010 Wonderland of Lights festival are 6 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 through Dec. 16.
Hours are 4 to 9:30 p.m. daily Dec. 17 through 26.
From Dec. 27 through Jan. 2, hours are 6 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For a calendar of events, accommodations ranging from state-of-the-art business hotels to bed-and-breakfast inns, concert tickets or more information on holiday lights in Marshall, contact the Marshall Convention & Visitors Bureau at (903)935-7868 ext. 6, or www.visitmarshalltexas.org.
About Wonderland of Lights
A 1987 Marshall News Messenger editorial made a wish that has illuminated this city for more than 20 years. The editorial, published in hard times for East Texas, imagined "Marshall's square, every tree, every bush, decorated with tiny white lights." Philanthropist and Marshall native Wendy Russell Reves responded with a generous donation to make that wish come true in the first annual Wonderland of Lights.
Today Wonderland of Lights is one of the largest holiday light celebrations in the United States, and more than 125,000 visitors make coming to Marshall a holiday tradition.
SOURCE Marshall Convention & Visitors Bureau