Denton Holiday Lighting Festival
Experience the magic of a small-town holiday celebration at the annual Holiday Lighting Festival on Denton’s Historic Square.
Capture the true spirit of a small-town holiday celebration.
HOW THE TRADITION BEGAN
The Denton Holiday Festival Association, Inc. (DHFA), established in 1988, is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. The organization’s primary mission is hosting the annual Holiday Lighting Festival.
This beloved community event, held on the second Friday following Thanksgiving, includes musical and dance presentations, horse drawn carriage rides, children’s crafts, and visits with Santa. Live entertainment is provided by talented local musicians and the Denton Community Band, which has been a part of the celebration since its inception.
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 by donations from the private sector and grants to purchase holiday street banners, rent stages and sound equipment, advertise and organize a wonderful local event full of arts and crafts, food, and music to benefit a toy drive benefiting Denton families.
- Photos with Santa ($7), Horse-drawn wagon rides ($5, under 2 free), and great food from local vendors are available for a small fee.
- Free parking is available at the MedPark Station with a free short A-train ride to Downtown Denton using the Secret Code Word “Jingle Bells”! Click the Parking & Transportation drop-down menu for full details.
- Disabled Parking is located on the west side of the Wells Fargo building on Locust Street.
- Lost children may be picked up at the Information Booth.
- Restrooms are located inside the Courthouse and Square restaurants.
- This is a litter-free event. Please do your part to Keep Denton Beautiful.
- Because of the size of the crowds and the amount of activity on the square, we highly recommend leaving your pets at home.
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. Read more on this year’s Toy Drive
What is Wassail? It is just a fussy Old English word for hot cider. Check out the delicious Wassail recipes at the participating merchant locations around the Square. Tasting begins Friday, November 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to the traditional Wassail Weekend tasting during the annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival the Denton Main Street Association (DMSA) will expand hours for its Wassail Weekend to include Saturday, Dec. 1 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
FESTIVAL STAGE (Hickory & Locust)
5:30 Denton Community Band
6:00 Lighting of the Lee Walker Tree
6:30 Denton High School Lab Band 1
7:00 Guyer High School Jazz Band
7:30 Festival Ballet of North Central Texas presenting “The Nutcracker”
Performance Stage (Corner of Oak and Elm)
8:00 – 9:30 “A Very Merry Denton” Holiday Spectacular featuring: David J Pierce and the Denton Holiday Lighting Orchestra and special guests.
UNT on the Square
6:00 UNT Tuba Euphonium Ensemble
DENTON COUNTY HISTORICAL PARK
5:30 Selwyn School Singers
6:00 Cross Oaks Elementary School Honor Choir
6:30 Blanton Elementary Squire Choir
7:00 Denton High School Orchestra
7:30 Ryan High School Jazz Ensemble
EAST COURTHOUSE LAWN
Glory of Zion Living Nativity
DANCING IN THE STREETS (Corner of Locust & Oak)
6:00 Denton High School Mariachi Los Broncos
6:30 Billy Ryan High School Strutters
7:00 Cross Oaks Elementary Spirit Squad
7:30 Silhouette Dance Company
CHESTNUT TEA ROOM
6:00 The Loverlies
6:00 Blanton Elementary Order of the Ocarina
6:30 Spring Creek Jazz
7:00 Central Baptist Church Choir
7:30 Lorrie’s Joy, Denton Friends of the Family
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (Locust and Mulberry)
4:30 Evening in Bethlehem
ST. ANDREW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH STAGE (W Oak St & Bolivar)
5:30 St. Andrew Children – Living Nativity
6:00 St. Andrew Youth Caroling
6:30 St. Andrew Adult Chancel Choir
7:00 Doug Burr Christmas Set
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: For the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival, the streets immediately surrounding the Square (Locust, Elm, Hickory and Oak) will be closed for the duration. Plan your arrival accordingly with this map:
For those wanting to skip the hassle, park at the MedPark DCTA A-train station and ride into downtown for FREE! Rides from MedPark to the Downtown Denton Transit Center are always free with their fare-free zone. Coming from outside Denton? Use the code word JINGLE BELLS to a DCTA bus or rail operator to ride DCTA’s A-train and Denton Connect Buses for free!
For more information and bus and train schedules and maps, visit ridedcta.net.