31st Annual Holiday Lighting Festival

Capture the true spirit of a small-town holiday celebration

The Denton Holiday Festival Association, Inc. (DHFA), established in 1988, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. Their primary mission is to host the annual holiday lighting festival. Originally organized to raise funds to put lights in the trees on the Courthouse-on-the-Square lawn, the DHFA continues the tradition of the Holiday Lighting Festival.

WHEN

Friday, December 3rd, 2021
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

WHERE

Downtown Denton Square
110 W. Oak St., Denton, TX 76201
Get Directions

DETAILS

This beloved community event, held on the second Friday following Thanksgiving, has grown bigger and busier every year. For 2021, things are spreading out to cover more ground and allow for more fun for the family.

Denton County Courthouse Lawn

Santa’s on the downtown square waiting for all the good girls and boys to get a photo with him, and this year he’s brought a reinsteer! A reinsteer is sort of like a reindeer, but with longer horns and he fits at home on a ranch, perfect for delivering gifts to children around Texas. We’ve narrowed down the stages to just one and the music kicks off with performances from The Denton Community Band, Denton Ballet Academy, and High School Caesar.

The Lee Walker tree will be lit at 6:30 PM.

Who-ville Hollow at the Denton Historical Park

Who doesn’t love the Christmas spirit? Everyone except for the Grinch, that is. Rumor has it he’s been spotted souring everyone’s holiday cheer by the Bayless Selby House. There’s plenty of free crafts for children of all ages to put together with help from the Greater Denton Arts Council. Holiday vendor booths, carolers performing in the gazebo, and even a trackless train ride around the historic park makes Who-ville Hollow an event location you do not want to miss.

Peppermint Park

Nestled between Oak and Hickory Street, across from East Side is Peppermint Park hosting free activities for kids including bounce houses, live music, and a balloon artist. Be on your best behavior, the Elf on the Shelf might just catch you doing something naughty if he’s not too busy posing for photos! Bounce on over to Peppermint Park!

Winter Wonderland at Williams Square

Waltz into a Winter Wonderland behind the Wells Fargo building off the square where a line of food trucks await. Watch your step, the forecast predicts snow in this area atop our twelve foot tall snow slide! But wait, how is that possible? It turns out Olaf came to visit and brought some snow with him! He must be here to listen to DJ Kind Beats play the crowd some melodious holiday tunes. Visit the Winter Wonderland to relax, take a ride down the slide, listen to some fun music, and grab a bite to eat and maybe even find a Christmas present, too!

The Return of Krampus

Guten Krampusnacht! You heard that right, somehow Krampus snuck his way back in to enjoy a view of the festivities atop his sinister flaming throne at Beer Alley and the Bearded Monk. Krampus is feeling unusually generous this year and is actually giving away presents to good kids! Hey, we thought that was Santa’s job! The faint of heart need not fret, Krampus is a bit creeped out by the elf on a shelf at Peppermint Park and isn’t braving his annual venture into the heart of the downtown square until the Krampuslauf takes place at 7:00pm on the next day, December 4th. The Krampuslauf boasts a parade of assorted macabre costumes, folklore dress, and Krampi marching through the downtown Denton Square (apparently Krampi is the plural of Krampus).

Toy Drive

Once again, the festival will be hosting a toy drive. Toys gathered will be distributed to families needing assistance during the Christmas season in Denton County through Elves Shelves. Toys may be donated to the Elves Shelves truck parked on the square. If carrying a toy with you seems cumbersome, that’s ok! You can donate a toy to a child in need here. Toys may also be donated prior to the event at First Baptists Denton located at 1100 Malone St.

WHAT'S FREE & WHAT REQUIRES A WRISTBAND

A big goal of the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival is to provide free entertainment and holiday fun for adults and children of all ages. The following destinations are free to the public:

Downtown wassail tasting
Who-Ville arts and crafts booth
Santa and the reinsteer (Bring Your Own Camera)
Peppermint Park bounce houses
Peppermint Park balloon art
The Grinch, Olaf, and Elf on the shelf!
All the joyful performances spread throughout the downtown square

So what’s the wristband for? In order for the Holiday Lighting festival to pursue its purpose and put on a fantastic show every year, several of the rides require a $5 wristband per person (lap children are free). You may pre-order wristbands in advance through Eventbrite, but we will also sell wristbands on-site at each location that requires them. This wristband provides unlimited access to the following rides:

Who-Ville Hollow Trackless Train
Downtown Square Horse Carriage Ride
Winter Wonderland Snow Slide
On-site photograph with Santa

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Wassail Weekend

Warm up with wassail made by Denton's downtown businesses as they compete for fan favorite. This two day event coincides with the annual Holiday Lighting Festival, held on the second Friday following Thanksgiving.