by Sara Button
It’s the best time of the year, y’all! Temperatures are dropping, cheeks are rosy, and we are ready to drink your wassail – I mean, deck the halls! Y’all ready? Due to the overwhelming success and excitement tied to the Holiday Lighting Festival and Wassail Fest, the Denton Main Street Association has expanded the annual event through this Friday & Saturday.
In downtown Denton, the holidays are organized by two separate, yet equally important groups. The Denton Holiday Lighting group who investigate the space for the annual holiday lighting, and The Denton Main Street Association who prosecute every last drop of wassail. DUN DUN. In all seriousness, though – these groups work together to provide an outstanding holiday weekend experience for Dentonites and passers-through. Continue reading for more information:
Celebrating its 26th year, the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival is a tradition funded entirely on donations from local businesses and individuals. A very common misperception is that the DHLF is a city event and fully funded by the city of Denton. Although not funded by the city, the DHLF is operated by a volunteer board and works completely as a grassroots operation. Donations go toward funding the electricity and the maintenance throughout the entire year.
Something new this year is the debut Denton Holiday album, A Very Merry Denton. This is available in CD format and on the iTunes store and will be sold at the DHLF event as well as on the website. The compilation features a variety of talented Denton artists playing some of their favorite holiday tunes. Some local artists include Sarah Jaffe, Brent Best, Bubba Hernandez and Paul Slavens.
"There will be Santa photos, a horse-drawn carriage ride, singing, dancing, food, fun and friendship" DHLF board chair Kelley Pound shared. "It is one of Denton's most loved events." This year is no exception. There is a lot do to on Friday evening so be sure to check out the official schedule here.
Wassail Fest is maintaining momentum in its 16th year and the Denton Main Street Association has packed 40 Wassail Stops within walking distance for your holiday-tasting-needs. The best part is you can break your route up in to two-days! Friday night between 5:30pm and 8:00pm you can mill around to a number of merchants and continue your stroll on Saturday afternoon between 2:00pm and 6:00pm. Some merchants are only offering wassail on Friday OR Saturday, but for your complete list please check here.
Wondering exactly how Wassail Fest works? Did you know there is a winner? Do you want to help crown the coveted title of Wassail Queen (and/or King?) It’s simple – follow three easy steps: 1) Pick up a ballot from any of the Wassail Stops. 2) Taste all the Wassail. 3) Vote for your favorite Wassail and drop the ballot off at any of the Wassail Stops. See? Easy peasy. All of the votes will be tallied up and a winner will be announced on Saturday evening. Participants who fill out and turn in a ballot are eligible for door prizes throughout the weekend from participating vendors. Follow the DMSA on Facebook for updates.
The Denton Holiday Weekend is not just about the lights or the wassail – it is about giving back, enjoying and loving our community. The DHLF asks that you bring a new, unwrapped toy donation for their annual toy drive. All toys raised will stay in Denton County for our local kiddos in need. Additionally, our local businesses and restaurants are open and ready for you! Please remember to be kind and courteous when walking around from business to business, whether you are sampling wassail, shopping, or sitting down for a quick bite.