Athens Review, Athens, Texas

November 21, 2012

Holiday activities abound

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — Get in the spirit of the holidays. Henderson County will be filled this year with events to keep you busy, from the oldest to the youngest. From Christmas Parades to a drive through Christmas Lights at Purtis Creek State Park, there is fun for the entire family. Information on helping others in need during the season is also listed in this calender of events.

• GBC Toys for Tots – The Gun Barrel City Toys for Tots will be accepting Christmas applications for families in need starting Nov. 26,  through Dec. 7. Applications can be filled out Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3p.m. at the Gun Barrel City Police Station, located on Municipal Drive.

They are accepting applications from residents of Gun Barrel City, Mabank, Seven Points, Payne Springs and Tool. All applications must have child’s Social Security card, birth certificate, and the child must be currently living in the lake area with the person applying.

The person applying must have proof of residency in the form of a utility bill, driver’s license and proof of income. You may only apply to one organization. All applicants must complete an application on or by Dec. 7, no later then 3 p.m. (no exceptions) to be considered. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit between the dates listed above. 

• Cross Roads Marching Band will be marching in the Malakoff Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. The band will be playing at the Malakoff Brooshire’s on Thursday, Dec. 13. They will  also hold a raffle between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Brookshire’s. The band will play at Cedar Lake Nursing Home on Thursday, Dec. 20 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Purtis Creek State Park - On Dec, 7 and Dec. 8,  Purtis Creek State Park will host a drive-through Christmas light event, “Christmas In Goshen,” from  5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each evening.

Businesses are invited to decorate a campsite (free of charge), and place their advertising sign at the site. Camping is welcomed at no charge, but if a business or organization wants to decorate a spot and can’t be there, the park staff will turn the lights on and off.

For campers who are decorating a site, camping is free from Tuesday, Dec. 4 through Saturday, Dec. 8. For those that want to just go out and enjoy the festivities, it’s $5 per carload. 

Call Purtis Creek State Park office at 903-425-2332 to reserve a space, or for more information. Consider supporting this event, and helping them establish a drive-through light venue in the Cedar Creek Lake area.

• Holiday on the Square - Saturday, Dec. 1, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Historic downtown Courthouse Square in Athens. The Light Up Athens committee will host Holiday on the Square, a holiday celebration on the courthouse square. The event will include a time to enjoy the decoration, story time, Holiday Market, arts and crafts for children, along with many more activities. There will be a time to visit with Santa. The event will end with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Bring your cameras, and enjoy the late afternoon.

• Christmas Park Land of Lights 2012 - The drive through Christmas Park will be open through  January 2, 2013. Located on Loop 7.  

• Festival of Trees -  Benefiting the Non-Profit Agencies of Henderson County. Trees decorated by Non-Profit Agencies in Henderson County will be on display in the foyer of the Cain Center from Nov. 24, through Dec. 2. The public is encouraged to come in during this time to view, bid on and vote for their favorite tree. All bidding and voting will close Dec. 2, at noon.

 • Home for the Holidays – Friday, Dec.. 11 will be VIP Shopping 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. All tickets $5. Saturday Dec. 12, Open Shopping 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adults $3, children ages 4-12,  $1. Children under-3 free.  People and Pet pictures with Santa, Children's Santa Wonderland, local business expos, live entertainment, door prizes and much more. Cain Center, 915 S. Palestine St., Athens.

• Breakfast with Santa - The Cain Center invites you to come have Breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 15.

This all-you-can-eat Waffle Breakfast is a great holiday event. Breakfast sausage and malted Belgian waffles are served piping hot, and topped with your choice of over five different flavors of sweet syrup by elves of The Lone Star Waffle Company.

Children will be able to visit with Santa about their Christmas Wish List, and each child will receive one age-appropriate gift. Parents are encouraged to take pictures of their children with Santa during this fun holiday event.

• Gun Barrel City Christmas Parade and Fireworks – A Rock and Roll Christmas. Featuring Elvis Presley. Saturday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m. Santa pictures 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gun Barrel City Fire Department. Fireworks will start 30 minutes after the parade at the Gun Barrel City Park (behind Dairy Queen).

 • Breakfast with Santa. Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  at Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Children $2, adults $3. Pancake and sausage breakfasts. Photos with Santa and Crafts.

• Malakoff Chamber of Commerce – Holiday season will kick-off with a special “Ladies Night Out”  on Nov. 27,  5 p.m. to 8 p.m. To make reservations for Ladies Night Out, call the Chamber of Commerce at 903-489-8118. Malakoff's Annual Christmas parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. The theme this year will be “A Winter Wonderland in Malakoff.” The parade begins at First Baptist Church parking lot on Mitcham Street. On Dec. 5, 6, and 7 the Malakoff Historical Society and Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 8 from noon to 5 p.m. The Museum is featuring a unique Christmas trees in every room.

• Get your Jingle On Holiday Craft Fair – Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The craft fair is located at Mabank Intermediate School.  

• Cross Roads Elementary will have a waffle dinner with Santa on Thursday,  Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  It will be held in the cafeteria. Waffles and sausage will be served. There will be some Christmas crafts for the children to make, photos with Santa and a few vendors for holiday shopping. Cost is $5 in advance, or $6 at the door.  Tickets can be bought in advance at Cross Roads Elementary office or East Texas Screen Printing 109 Robbins Road in Athens. For more information, call Marita Giles 903-681-6037.

• Old Fashion Christmas. Mabank will have an old fashion Christmas on Market Street in downtown Mabank on Dec. 14.

If your holiday spirit-o-meter is running low, visit the many wonders of Henderson County.  Take your family, friends and guests to the parades in Athens, Gun Barrel City or Malakoff, just be be reminded about Christmas.