A dazzling display of twinkling lights, a whimsical ice palace, colorful ornaments and spirit-lifting music awaits visitors when the Park of East Texas rolls out an adventurous new Tyler tradition, “’Twas the Lights Before Christmas.”
“Tyler is such a wonderful community with things going on all over town,” Kim Morris, Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. “We know people are coming to town for Christmas, to see their families and shop.”
Ms. Morris said the compilation of efforts is intended to resurrect the Rose City Christmas celebrations of the past.
John Sikes, Park of East Texas President, said the new walking tour is a highlight of those efforts and a delight for visitors of all ages.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “We’re going to light things up and spin the electric meter.”
The event, designed by a vendor from New York, is expected also to include a festival of trees, choirs, bands, Santa Claus, plus a special café featuring yummy delicacies and mouth-watering treats.
Volunteers and sponsorships are still needed — businesses are encouraged to sponsor a tree and decorate it to their liking. Completed trees are to be auctioned with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
“I get excited about Christmas and everybody we talked to is excited about this event,” Sikes said. “It’s really going to anchor Tyler’s Christmas events.”
To find out more, call 903-597-2501 or visit TwasTheLights.com.
Included in the mix are special shopping experiences at Mary V’s, Harley’s, Bridgette’s Classic Boutique, Dressin Gaudy, Spinout, Sweet Gourmet, The Christmas Store, Karen Horton & Co., Red Barn Flower & Gift Shop, The Potpourri House, Jordan’s Plant Farm Christmas, Sterling Grace, The Gipson Girl and Ye Olde City Antique Mall.
Shopping tours are available by calling 903-245-6535 or toursoftyler.com.
For a brochure and complete list of attractions, shops and locations, call 800-235-5712 or visittyler.com/pdfs/rosecitychristmas.pdf.
Some activities highlighted in Rose City Christmas include:
Santa Land, 11455 Interstate 20 at Exit 557, open daily 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., now through Jan. 4. Event features more than 2 million lights and Santa’s trailer. For details, call 903-882-1518 or visit SantaLandTexas.com.
Tyler Civic Theatre, 400 Rose Park Drive, presents “A Christmas Story,” Nov. 26-28 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students. Call 903-592-0561 or visit TylerCivicTheatre.com.
Tyler Jaycees Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off 6 p.m. Nov. 29 along the downtown square in Tyler. Event includes floats, marching bands and a visit from the Jolly Old Elf. For information, call 903-597-4787, 903-531-1214 of visit TylerJaycees.org.
AAUW 43rd Annual Holiday in the Pines Tour of Homes is planned for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8. Five homes decorated for Christmas are to be featured. Tickets are $12 and available at the Gipson Girl, 302 E. Locust St., and Potpourri House, 3320 Troup Hwy. For details, call 903-534-6563.
Liberty Hall’s “Christmas Magic Lantern Show” is set for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 110 W. Erwin St. Family friendly show features 1890s show on full size screen. Tickets are $15 adults; $10 for seniors and children 12 and under. For details, call 903-595-7274 or visit libertytyler.com.
Roseland Plantation Christmas Afternoon Tea and Tour starts 2 p.m., Dec. 11 and 12. Tickets are $25 each. Event includes four-course afternoon tea and historic plantation tour. For details, call 903-849-0205 or visit roselandplantation.com.
Downtown Tyler Museums Alliance Holiday Open House, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 13, Includes free tours of Goodman-LeGrand Museum, 624 M. Broadway Ave.; Cotton Belt Depot, 210 E. Oakwood St.; Smith County Historical Society Museum, 125 S. College Ave.; Gallery Main Street, 110 W. Erwin St.; McClendon House, 806 W. Houston; and Discovery Science Place, 308 N. Broadway Ave. Call 903-593-6905 or visit www.heartoftyler.com.
7th Annual Holiday in the Park & Bazaar is planned for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 7; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 8, Bergfeld Park at Broadway and 4th Street. Event includes snow “tubing” hill, snow play area, shopping and entertainment. The movie, “Arthur Christmas” is to be shown free at 6 p.m. For details, call 903-531-1214 or visit TylerParksandRec.com.
“Beyond the Manger,” free music presentation, 9:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Dec. 9; 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Green Acres Baptist Church Worship Center, 1607 Troup Hwy. Performance presented by Green Acres Celebration Choir and Orchestra. For details, call 903-525-1100 or visit gabc.org.
Youth Tyler Orchestra Family Christmas Concert kicks off 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 16, TJC Wise Auditorium, 1400 E. Fifth St., featuring Tyler Youth Orchestra playing holiday tunes. Event is free. For details, call 903-597-4896.