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.

  • 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 Wells Fargo Bank and the St. Andrew Presbyterian and Bayless-Selby House Museum Parking lots. Free parking is also available at the MedPark Station with a free short A-train ride to Downtown Denton using the Secret Code Word “Jingle Bells”!
  • 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, December 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to the traditional Wassail Fest tasting during the annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival the Denton Main Street Association (DMSA) will expand hours for its Wassail Fest to include Saturday, Dec. 2 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Traveling to Denton for the Holiday Lighting Festival? Forget I-35 and jump on board the A-train!

Take the A-train from the MedPark Station in Denton, three stations in Lewisville or connect from DART’s Green Line at Trinity Mills in Carrollton. Use the Secret Code Word “JINGLE BELLS” and ride the A-train and Connect bus service free the night of the event. Once you arrive at the Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC), take a short stroll to the Historic Square for the event.

View the A-train schedule


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Festival Stage:

  • 5:30 – Denton Community Band
  • 5:45 – Greetings from Dignitaries
  • 6:00 – Tree Lighting
  • 6:00 – Denton Community Band
  • 6:30 – Denton High School Lab Band 1
  • 7:00 – Woodrow Wilson Ballet Folklorico
  • 7:30 – Festival Ballet of North Central Texas presenting The Nutcracker

Performance Stage:

  • 8:00 – A Very Merry Denton Holiday Spectacular featuring: David J. Pierce and the Denton Holiday Lighting Orchestra, with special guests Taste of Herb, Little Jack Melody, Eric Pulido of Midlake and BNQT, Jeffrey Barnes, Bubba Turner, Boxcar Bandits, UNT Brazilian Percussion Ensemble, John Murphy from UNT Jazz Department, UNT Jazz Singers, Bonnie and Nick Norris, Bubba Hernandez

Dancing in the Streets

  • 6:00 – Ryan High School Strutters
  • 6:30 – UNT Dancers and TWU Pioneer Pride
  • 7:00 – Cross Oaks Spirit Squad
  • 7:30 – Desert Diamonds

UNT on the Square (109 N Elm St)

  • 6:00 – UNT Tuba Euphonium Ensemble

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church Stage (300 W Oak St)

  • 5:30 – St. Andrew Children – Living Nativity
  • 6:00 – St. Andrew Youth Caroling
  • 6:30 – St. Andrew Adult Chancel Choir
  • St. Andrew’s Sanctuary will be open from prayer during these times

East Courthouse Lawn

  • All Evening – Glory of Zion Live Nativity

Cross Timbers Church (312 W McKinney St)

  • 6:00 – Denton Community Chorus
  • 6:30 – The Loverlies
  • 7:00 – Calvary UPC of Denton
  • 7:30 – Brett Cox

Commissioners Courtroom

  • 6:00 – Order of the Ocarina
  • 6:30 – Trinity Wennerstrom
  • 7:00 – Kelsey Lewis

Denton County Historical Park (317 W Mulberry St)

  • 6:00 – Cross Oaks Choir
  • 6:30 – Evers Park Elementary Choir
  • 7:00 – Swan Hawk Choir
  • 7:30 – Blanton Squire Choir

Chestnut Tree Tea Room (107 W Hickory St)

  • 6:00 – Gigi Miller
  • 6:30 – Robbie Johnson
  • 7:00 – Kenzie Eaglin
  • 7:30 – Pink Couch Studios

Agua Dulce Mexican Kitchen (115 S Elm St)

  • 6:30 – Layne Elizabeth
  • 7:30 – Stephanie Untch

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.

 

Denton Lighting Festival

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