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December Festivals and Events


Texas usually experiences a bit of cooler weather during the final month of the year. However, the temperatures are still mild enough to be pleasant, particularly for those in attendance at one of the many festivals and events staged across Texas each December.

1. Dickens on the Strand

Galveston Historical Foundation
For more than three decades, characters from Charles Dickens’ novels have strolled Galveston’s historic Strand during December. Known as Dickens on the Strand, this holiday festival takes visitors back to the Victorian Era as street vendors with push carts work amongst carolers and street musicians, while children busy themselves at the Royal Menagerie Petting Zoo.

2. Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza

Held in San Antonio, this annual event features mariachi competitions, workshops and a grand finale concert.

3. Texas Holiday Wine Trail

A tour of wineries through the Texas Hill Country, the Holiday Wine Trail features wine tastings, appetizers, barrel tastings, art shows and more.

4. Enchanted Forest Renaissance Faire

Taking visitors back to the time of folklore and magic, the Enchanted Forest Renaissance Faire features plays, skits, music, dances, duels, craftsmen, merchants and more.

5. White Rock Marathon

Dallas’ “Run the Rock” event combines music – over 40 bands perform along the race route – with running – it is, after all, a marathon. There is also a 5k walk/fun run, half-marathon, and relay marathon during the weekend.

6. First Night Austin

Held each year on New Year's Eve, First Night Austin includes an afternoon family festival, a procession down Congress Avenue, and a night-time art show and festival which features steet corners and storefronts converted into art galleries and stages.

7. Cotton Bowl Parade

Held on New Year's Day, the Cotton Bowl Parade features bands and drill teams from across the United States, as well as floats and performers, all making their way through Downtown Dallas.

8. Whistle Stop Christmas

In Cleburne, the Whistle Stop Christmas Lights wow visitors on an annual basis. The main draw for this county-wide event is the 11 acres of Christmas lights covering Hulen Park which stay lit for the whole month of December.

9. Neiman-Marcus/Adolphus Children's Parade

Neiman-Marcus/Adolphus Children's Parade/Louis Curtis, Jr.
A Dallas holiday tradition for over 20 years, the Neiman-Marcus/Adolphus Children’s Parade not only kicks off the holiday season in the Big D, it is a major fundraiser for the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. You can get reserved seating, general admission tickets, or bring a lawn chair and sleeping bag and huddle up along the parade’s downtown route.

10. Twice As Bright Festival

Texarkana's annual Twice As Bright Festival begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs through January 2. Throughouth the month of December, other events such as a Christmas parade, lighting of the commmunity Christmas tree, and more compliment the Twice As Bright Festival.
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