Christmas in the Park begins Saturday
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Nov. 24, 2006 - For the next two weekends, the corner of Jackson and Houston Streets will be lit up in true holiday fashion as children of all ages enjoy the Wonderland of Lights.

Christmas in the Park also offers music, goodies, and as a special treat for the younger children, a visit from that jolly old elf Santa.

Each night — Saturday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Hopkins County Historical Society will open the gates to Heritage Park, where lanterns and candles will light the path to the historical attractions, which are all lit in twinkling lights, with doors trimmed in Christmas greens and bows. The lawns will also be adorned with metal trees strung with multicolored holiday lights.

"We welcome the community to come visit Heritage Park and the lights display this Saturday and next Friday," said Verdon Graves, a member of Hopkins County Historical Society who worked Friday morning alongside a few other volunteers setting up lanterns. "We encourage them to bring their children, grandchildren, the neighbor's children, or anyone interested in having a good time. The children really enjoy it so much."

In keeping with the holiday spirit, cookies will be available, along with warm cocoa, coffee and cider to help wash them down. 

And there will be live music at three venues, plus carolers strolling the grounds. A handbell choir will play in the chapel, a group of high school girls are slated to play violins on the General Store porch, and a gentleman will also be playing an instrument in Atkins House. A group of carolers will stroll between the three locations with a trill of song.

"We've added more trees and lights and more music," Graves said. "We'll have lots of good cider and coffee, and hot chocolate for the kids, cookies too," Graves said. "This is a big weekend for us."

The newly restored fire truck and recently completed new fire station will also be on lighted route. The truck will be on display and is also slated to make a run in the annual Lions Club Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2.

A gift shop will be set up at the General Store, offering an array of Christmas ornaments and other similar holiday decor. Historical Society members were working with animal owners Friday morning to try to arrange a live nativity from Saturday, Nov. 25. They had confirmed the proper "cast" for a live nativity on Friday.

A trolley will be made available to ferry individuals from downtown where Sulphur Springs Downtown Business Alliance will be conducting Christmas on the Square Friday, Dec. 1. The trolley is being furnished as a courtesy for those planning to enjoy both events, so they will not be hampered by the limited parking both on the square and at Heritage Park.

Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and deliver Christmas wishes in person. Santa will be available both Nov. 25 and Dec. 1, during Christmas in the Park at Wilson House. 

HCHS members are asking a $2 admission fee from youth ages 12 and older, and adults to help off-set costs of hosting the annual event. Children age 11 or younger will be admitted free.

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