Blanco County News
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Hill Country Skies Are Lit Up With Millions Of Lights
Come Home to the Hill Country for Christmas
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 • Posted December 16, 2008

The lights at night are bigger and brighter during the holiday season as the famous Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail lights the skies. Several communities are part of the Texas Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail - the area’s most celebrated family holiday tradition - between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Make plans now for family fun and fantastic viewing in Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Llano, Marble Falls, New Braunfels, Round Mountain, and Wimberley. All are within easy driving distance of central Texas and promise holiday excitement and enticement for every member of the family.

As the evenings grow darker the Burnet Historic Square is filled with music and Christmas lights. The lawn is graced with live decorated trees, deer and other animals at play, a train, and millions of tiny white lights enhancing this Hill Country scene. Santa will arrive to delight the youngsters and many great happenings will take place. Be sure to stop by Hamilton Creek Park, decorated with lights, luminarias, and greenery for the holidays. The park is located one block west of Hwy 281 on Hwy 29. Retail merchants will be open until late for your shopping convenience on Sat. & Sun., starting Thanksgiving weekend, for the Hill Country Flyer steam train Christmas run.

“Catch the spirit” of Christmas Past at Ft. Croghan. Step back in time to the Fort’s first Christmas after soldiers built it to protect settlers in October of 1849. Your arrival is anticipated. Cedar wreaths are hung on each gate. Families in costume are making simple ornaments and decorations for your enjoyment. Six old cabin fireplaces are burning, bringing back the Spirit of Christmases past. Enjoy free refreshments and take the candlelight tour.

Gateway to the Hill Country ...Come to Dripping Springs, located 15 miles west of Austin at the intersection of Highway 290 and Ranch Road 12, and enjoy the holiday light decorations, shops, restaurants and friendly atmosphere. Events include the Senior Citizens Activity Center Mexican Dinner, Drippings Springs United Methodist Church Christmas Bazaar, Christmas Home Tour presented by the Friends of The Dripping Springs Community Library, Wesley Gallery’s Jewelry Show and Artist Show, Sunset Canyon Pottery’s Customer Appreciation Christmas Sale and Christmas on Mercer Street.

The holiday season is a fabulous time to visit Fredericksburg, located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, with events and decorations flavored by our German and frontier heritage. Once again, historic Main Street will be ablaze with thousands of white lights each evening and Marktplatz is transformed into a lighted winter wonderland.

Located just over an hour from either San Antonio or Austin, Fredericksburg is a shopper’s paradise with more than 150 specialty shops lining downtown streets. You’ll find something for everyone on your list - apparel, antiques and collectibles, fine art, handcrafts by local artisans, Christmas ornaments, regional books, delicious Hill Country foods and wines and much more!

And with over 50 restaurants, five museums, outdoor recreation, golf, historic sites and over 900 convenient hotel/motel rooms and over 300 cozy bed & breakfast/guesthouses, Fredericksburg makes a perfect family getaway.

Some of the featured events are the Christmas Parade - Main Street; Weihnachten in Fredericksburg. (A Christmas Market & Festival) - Marktplatz; Holiday Wine Trail - Hill Country Region; Kinderfest - Pioneer Museum Complex; Christmas Journey Drive Through - Bethany Lutheran Church; Christmas Home Tour; Christmas at the Theater, Trade Days, Christmas Eve Services - Historic Churches; Zweite Weihnachten - Pioneer Museum Complex; and New Year’s Eve Dances.

Lights Spectacular celebrates 19 Years! Johnson City, one of the largest Light Displays in the State, will have millions of Lights. Local homes, businesses and churches add their displays to the stunning 100,000 lights on the Blanco County Courthouse. The Courthouse, the centerpiece, will be open on Saturday & Sunday nights from 6:00-9:00pm with a tree, sales of ornaments and crafts from the Garden Club. Johnson City’s Christmas gift to you and your family will be aglow each night until midnight through January 1. Admission to all events is free. Nightly Attractions - Courthouse with 100,000 lights, “Light Art Displays”, Christmas in the Park, Pedernales Electric Co-op Headquarters with 1,000,000 lights, and carriage rides.

Special Events include Courthouse Lighting and Fireworks Display, the Chuckwagon Food Court, Santa’s arrival and visits, Clickety Cloggers performance, Lighted Hooves and Wheels Parade, Christmas at the LBJ Boyhood Home, Lamplight Tour of LBJ Boyhood Home, Living Story of Christmas at the United Methodist Church. Tour busses welcome. “Movies Under the Stars” An outdoor movie for the family begins at dark. Bring your lawn chairs to the north side of the Courthouse. “A Timeless Christmas in Johnson City” - the 1860 Christmas at the Cabin - Johnson Settlement.

Christmas Walkway of Lights- Let yourself imagine over one million tiny, twinkling lights on 130 sculptures reflecting on the sparkling waters of beautiful Lake Marble Falls. As you stroll leisurely on the shoreline, experience a place where dreams are made. The spirit of the entire community culminates during the Winter Holiday Season in Marble Falls, Texas, at the Walkway of Lights!

The self-guided winter wonderland walk will dazzle you with the largest lighted pole-tree boasting over 17,000 multi-colored lights and a lighted tunnel touting over 12,000 clear bulbs. Both these special treasures together with the whimsical, patriotic, religious, traditional, and not so traditional sculptures, along with beautiful Christmas music, create the Walkway of Lights. This lighted wonderland will fill your holiday season with enchantment.

Located only 45 miles west of Austin and 85 miles north of San Antonio on Hwy. 281, the Walkway of Lights and community of Marble Falls plays host to visitors from near and far. Since 1991, people from as far away as South America, Asia, Europe, Japan and Canada along with many citizens from across the United States have joined in celebrating with local and second-home residents in the area. The lighted extravaganza is developed each year by hundreds of dedicated volunteers who are committed to the production of this major project each year. The local community volunteer nightly to ensure viewing opportunities to visitors. The expansion and continuation of the Walkway of Lights is 100% dependent on your generous donations. Admission is free to the public but donations are cheerfully and gratefully accepted.

We invite you to arrive early to dine, shop and visit the Walkway of Lights in Lakeside Park located immediately west of the Hwy. 281 River Bridge. Walkway display hours are nightly through January 3, 2009, with illumination beginning at 6:00pm and closing at 10:00pm.

Festtage (TM) in New Braunfels includes the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting - Arrival of Santa, parade, food, entertainment and Santa pictures. Courthouse area lighting. Downtown Plaza. Weihnachtsmarkt - A German Christmas shopping market featuring unique gift items and antiques from distinctive merchants and artisans. New Braunfels Civic Center; Old Gruene Market Days - Shops, restaurants, entertainment, 100+ vendors in Gruene Historic District; Christmas Showcase of Arts and Crafts - Handmade arts and crafts by over 100+ craftsmen. Civic Center (Seguin St.); Wassailfest - A magical evening of downtown festivities, sampling different types of wassail, to enjoying diverse entertainment, food and strolling through historic downtown; Visit with St. Nicholas - Children enjoy visit with “German” Santa at the Sophienburg Museum; Christmas Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist - New Orleans style gospel brunch, come witness Gruene Hall’s own Texas twist on this uplifting event of awe inspiring music coupled with a wonderful buffet; Caroling On The Plaza - Arts Council sponsors community get-together to sing traditional Christmas songs. Downtown Plaza. Schlitterbahn’s Hill Country Christmas Event - A magical holiday event beginning November 28 through January 4th at “the Bahn”. Redneck Tenros Holiday Spec Tac Yule Ar! Don your holiday mullet and come see the 3 Redneck Tenors - real life Broadway and Opera stars, ready to rock your holidays with a classic, pop and deep-fried fest of musical delights.

The joys of Christmas and holiday traditions are celebrated in the town of Round Mountain, Texas by the display of twinkling, silhouette lights around its historic buildings and residences, as if camp fires were glowing across the rolling Hill Country, and by the warm friendly people, who honor this cherished occasion and who extend their invitation to share with visitors the spirit of the season. For Christmas magic, visit Round Mountain (on U.S. Highway 281) first settled in 1854 and then on the stage route from Austin to Fredericksburg. Enjoy the sparkling lights at Southwest Center and Cattleman’s National... travel Ranch Road 962 East... see the lights on the old Methodist Church built in 1876 and recently restored... notice the Joseph Bird double log house built in 1854.

Watch for lights on the Shelley-Gutierrez house... and on to the Round Mountain Stagecoach Inn and Stable, 1874 National Register of Historical Places... go past the Galloway-Romero house and other lighted homes on the way... turn left on the old Marble Falls Road for more beautiful lights... return to U. S. Highway 281 Stop by the illuminated North Cypress Creek Community Park then travel down Ranch Road 962 West and County Road 305 for a view of decorated homes in the area. Before leaving Round Mountain, visit the business center and dine at the renowned Round-Up Restaurant. Feliz Navidad!

Wimberley Creekside Christmas- Christmas in the Village of Wimberley is a stroll through the historic square with its twinkling lights and shopping for unique and creative gifts in antique shops, country craft stores and art galleries. After a dinner at one of our restaurants, walk through the EmilyAnn Theatre’s Christmas Trail of Lights, where the beauty of nature and the magic of Christmas meet. Wimberley is in close proximity to many fellow participating Hill Country towns. Beautiful, country roads easily take you to enjoy the lights in Blanco, Dripping Springs, Canyon Lake and Gruene all within 30 minutes. Then come home to Wimberley for a relaxing evening in one of our many elegant bed and breakfasts. Events ... Santa’s arrival on the Wimberley Square, Wimberley’s Walk-Thru Trail of Lights. Yule Log nightly (weather permitting), EmilyAnn Theatre Opening Tree Lighting, with entertainment, food, and family fun; Lion’s Club Market Days; Hanukkah Celebration at EmilyAnn Theatre; Starlight Symphony Orchestra at Lone Star Theater.

Individuals and families are invited to enjoy each community’s festive lighting displays from the comfort and safety of their vehicles, or by parking and strolling. Most activities are free or have minimal cost. Visitors are always welcome to shop, dine, and sightsee, as many stores and businesses keep special longer hours during the holidays.

Complete details of events in each town, free brochure and area map are available by contacting the Regional Christmas Lighting Trail Headquarters in Fredericksburg at 1-866-TEX-FEST (1-866-839-3378) or by checking out

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