By Larry Briscoe
When the glitter sparkles, lights twinkle and music plays, you know Christmas has arrived at Quinlan-Tawakoni where the season is celebrated in style.
Local Christmas expressions pop up throughout the area in a myriad of creative and impressive ways — Disneyland-like lighting displays and a choreographed music-and-lights performance that stretches over three acres.
Joe Glenn has expanded his computerized music and lights fantasy of previous years from his Arrowhead Addition home to a new three-acre location off FM 36.
Glenn enlisted the help of family and friends in the expansion. His brother, David Glenn, offered his acreage so the lighted musical could grow. David’s son-in-law, Josh Cobb, and friends pitched in.
The result is a drive-through family treat.
Lights on the many Christmas-themed displays blink in concert with holiday music selections. Six songs were playing last week, but Joe said he expected to add more.
Additional information is available on the light show at www.facebook.com/tawakonilights where Joe describes some of the offerings, “many new elements including the singing Christmas trees to the drive-through arch to the amazingly colorful tree; then, there’s the 30-foot cedar that my brother insisted on lighting — great idea!”
The family plans to add a campfire to the festivities on Friday, Saturday and Sundays — and may even have marshmallows to roast or other surprises as the holiday unfolds.
Directions given are to drive west from Quinlan on State Highway 276 and turn right on FM 36 and go north for 1.4 miles to County Road 2538, turn left and go approximately a quarter mile where road turns right and is Chapel Road; follow that road north for approximately three-quarters of a mile to Private Road 2536; turn left where the lights will be seen at the end of the road.
“Now’s a good time to tune to 95.5 FM,” Joe said.
Sandra and Lamont Jenkins decorate for all the holidays — but at Christmas, they transform their two-story home and yard into a fantasyland of lights.
The Jenkins couple adds something new every year, and the display merits return trips to the 1013 Shoreline Dr. address in West Tawakoni; turn north onto Waterline Drive off State Highway 276 and follow it to the end and turn left.
The “QT Extravaganza” karaoke contest will award a $500 grand prize Saturday.
The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at W.H. Ford High School and will include dinner, comedy show, silent auction, bake sale and drawing for a free bicycle. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. For more information, call 903-356-6744 or 214-534-1622.
The fundraiser is presented by Lake Area Shared Ministries and Hunt County Kids, and major sponsors are Awesome Blossom, Ben Baker State Farm, CompuDoc and Quinlan Independent School District.
The Quinlan ISD’s Fine Arts Winter Extravaganza will be held Dec. 12 from 5 to 9 p.m.
All QISD band programs, choir programs and theater programs will perform.
Festivities include a craft fair. Spaces are $10 or a donation for door prizes. Contact Amber Clowers to reserve a space at 903-356-1619.
Quinlan ISD’s Christmas Wonderland holiday free family event will be held Dec. 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The lighting of the community Christmas tree is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the QISD Technology Building on Main Street; photos with Santa at the QISD administration building, westside back entrance; community hayrides; city of Quinlan Hotdog Hoedown under the QISD administration building awning; and Winter Wonderland activities such as train rides, petting zoo, crafts, games and more.
The City of Quinlan will sponsor a canned food drive. The only fee requested for any activity is for families to take canned food items in support of the Lake Area Shared Ministries.
The downtown festival closes at 6 p.m.
Christmas parade, festival
The annual Christmas parade, themed “Miracle on Main Street,” will roll through Quinlan Dec. 14. The Lake Tawakoni Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual pageant through Quinlan streets that has become one of the largest anywhere.
Parade Chairwoman Tiffony Upchurch said parade preregistration deadline for judging is Dec. 12.
Parade lineup begins at noon and rolls at 2 p.m. Winners will be announced at 4 on the downtown main stage.
The festival booths begin setup at 10 a.m., and open at noon as well as the Downtown Gospel Music Christmas Concert on the main stage.
Christmas in the Park
“Christmas in the Park” at West Tawakoni City Park begins at 6:30 p.m. and will close at 9 Dec. 14.
Park Board Chairman Billy Creed said companies, organizations, churches, groups and individuals with entries in the parade were invited to display them at the park for the weeks of Dec. 14 through 22.
“Judging will be done by visitors with an award for Best of Show and first- and second-places in each division for tree, display and float divisions.
“The park will be open each night for drive-through, but the weekends will have various activities including Santa from 6 to 9 p.m.,” he said.
Contact event Chairwoman Karen Lockhart at 903-447-2205 or 214-683-7707 for more information or applications. Applications are also available at CompuDoc Computers, West Tawakoni City Hall and the Lake Tawakoni Regional Chamber of Commerce.