MARSHALL, Texas (KSLA) — The East Texas city of Marshall brings the holiday spirit to the ArkLaTex every year through its annual Wonderland of Lights festival.
But due to COVID-19, this year’s lighting ceremony at the old historic courthouse was held virtually.
And typical staples of the annual Wonderland of Lights festival — the ice rink, food and other activities commonly held around the courthouse — were shelved because of the ongoing pandemic.
“This year is different; we have to keep our families safe,” Marshall Mayor Terri Brown said. “I encourage everyone to come downtown, visit our stores and the activities we do have this year.”
The lighting ceremony brings many visitors to the city. Among them are members of the Sixta family, former Marshall residents who now travel to the city every year from Corpus Christi, Texas.
“A little bit sad we can’t get together with the people we want to this year,” Mary Carol Sixta said. “But like my husband said, the spirit is still there.”
Several Marshall businesses are asking everyone to continue to support them during the holiday season.
The Wonderland of Lights’ sixth annual Wassail Walk will be held from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, which is national Small Business Saturday. Wassail will be served at shops and restaurants in historic downtown Marshall. And participating merchants will compete for the Taste of the Town people’s choice award.
- Shops will be limited to 75% capacity.
- Masks will be required except when people are eating or drinking.
- People also will practice social distancing while waiting to taste wassail.
- There is no souvenir mug this year.
- At each stop, a worker wearing gloves and a mask will pass out a single serving to each person.
- Taste of the Town voting will be conducted virtually.
- Hand sanitation stations will be available inside and outside shops.
Click here to learn about more safety precautions being taken during Wonderland of Lights.