In response to the love of lavender and to enhance Blanco’s trademark as the Lavender Capital of Texas®, the Blanco Chamber of Commerce is hosting a new seasonal event called Blanco Lavender Lights. The season will run from Thanksgiving until New Year’s and is designed to give tourists and residents alike a unique Christmas experience. This year’s theme is “Celebrate a Hometown Christmas”.
Many years ago, the Courthouse Square was alive and bustling during the Courthouse Lighting and the entire Christmas season. A series of unfortunate events dampened the spirit of the traditional celebration, causing participation to dwindle. Last year, the Blanco Chamber joined up with the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society (OBCCPS) and Keep Blanco Beautiful (KBB) to reignite the event. It was a huge success as several hundred residents joined merchants around the square to enjoy hometown music, food, shopping and fun. Even the Post Office was open, serving hot chocolate and receiving packages for shipment!
This year’s event proves to be even more inviting. Visitors and residents will enjoy the traditional Courthouse Lighting and Open House Around the Square from 5:00pm-9pm the day after Thanksgiving (November 28th), this time bathed in the glow of lavender and white lights. Merchants will stay open late and serve refreshments throughout the evening. Shoppers are encouraged to participate in a “visit all of the shops” program, and in exchange will receive a free gift from the Chamber and will qualify for other drawings. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides and musicians will perform all around the square. Santa will be upstairs in the Courthouse, taking requests from dreamy-eyed children. Uptown Blanco Art Center will host “Stars and Lights”, a fine art show and sculpture walk featuring many regional artists.
The new spin on Blanco’s tradition is to go purple! The Friday after Thanksgiving will be declared “Purple Friday” (as a play on Black Friday) and all merchants and guests are encouraged to wear something purple (and receive extra special treatment)! There will be a 3-day Lavender Lights Christmas Market on the Courthouse grounds with over 30 booths, as well as some hands-on craft-making and gift wrapping inside the Courthouse. Local restaurants will entice diners with special holiday fare.
“We want to give folks an opportunity to avoid the big city crowds, avoid the trip out of town, make it a less stressful season, create fun family memories, and Shop Blanco for Christmas. In one weekend, people can literally have all of their Christmas shopping wrapped up, and have a lot of fun doing it,” says Chamber Executive Director Julie Dill. “It’s also the smart thing to do. By shopping local, and inviting others to shop with us, we support the businesses and economic vitality of our own town.”
In the spirit of the lavender theme, Keep Blanco Beautiful and the Yucca Garden Club encourage all businesses and residents to display purple lights and to participate in their annual Christmas Lights contest. Commercial grade purple lights can be ordered from the Chamber at a volume discount price.
The theme of Blanco Lavender Lights was decided upon after much creative dialogue among merchants, lavender growers, KBB, and Chamber members. Blanco used to be on the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail, and the team wanted a unique angle to be featured on the trail in future years. Lavender has become Blanco’s newest agricultural industry, attracting thousands of visitors each year, so it seemed a natural choice. The slogan “celebrate a hometown Christmas” came out of the group’s desire to foster the simple, friendly feel of small towns like Blanco, as well as to give families a memorable rural experience of the season.
If you’d like to volunteer for this event, please contact the Blanco Chamber of Commerce at 830-833-5101.
Light Up Blanco In Lavender This Christmas – Purchase Your Lights At Discount Prices
To order your purple lights, contact the Blanco Chamber of Commerce by Wednesday, October 29 at 5:00pm. Orders will be available for pickup the week of November 10. A string of commercial grade, 50ft strand of purple mini-lights, with 6” spacing, twist-and-lock replaceable bulbs, end-to-end connections allowing up to 6 strands, is $17.95, tax included. Burn time is 3000 hours. A 25ft strand of 70 LED purple raspberry lights with 4” spacing, burn time of 50,000 hours is $29.95, tax included. Call 830-833-5101, or email email@example.com. Credit cards are accepted. (These prices are just to cover cost. We want to encourage as many as possible to buy at bulk pricing, which helps all of us create our new look).