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By Chris Edwards
TYLER COUNTY – This week might see an increase in turkey and dressing consumption among most folks, but right around the corner, next week to be exact, is the countywide Christmas celebration.
There are a lot of events on tap for the weekend of Friday – Saturday, Dec. 2-3, and according to Tyler County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Holly Wells, there are some new (and fun) features to add to old traditions with the Chamber’s annual Christmas celebration.
Wells spotlighted the “Jolly Jeep Jingle” Jeep show, which will take place on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Courthouse Square. Also, according to Wells, a “battle of the beards” contest will take place on Friday, in addition to a full slate of fun for the whole family, around the Courthouse Square.
The “Battle of the Beards Christmas Edition Santa Beard Contest” will determine who in Tyler County has the best Santa beard, Wells said.
All beards are welcome, and participants can register at www.tylercountycoc.com.
Another contest that will be new to the festivities is the “Ugly Sweater Contest,” which will also be judged on Friday, along with the beard contest.
The Friday festivities, which will last from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. will include the vendors, and a whole realm of fun on the courthouse grounds, including a full array of Christmas lights, an appearance by Santa Claus, a live Nativity scene, bounce house for the children and Christmas selections played by area high school band students.
For the Jolly Jeep Jingle is a showing of vehicles, devoted exclusively to Jeeps. The Chamber is calling all Jeeps to be a part of this inaugural event.
For participants, the entry fee is a new, unwrapped toy donation, which will go to the county’s Child Welfare Board in its efforts to deliver toys to children who are in need of a jolly Christmas.
There will be a prize to the best-decorated Christmas Jeep, and while plans are still being finalized on some of the festivities, those who take in the Jeep show on Saturday can stroll downtown shops and vendors along the Courthouse Square after enjoying the Rotary Club of Woodville’s annual Pancakes with Santa breakfast at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church fellowship hall, which begins at 8 a.m.
Along with the Jolly Jeep Jingle, the Chamber is looking for some interested musicians to jam out on the Courthouse lawn during the event and has an open invite to pickers and singers to come and join in the fun, as sound will be provided.
During the Saturday fun, there will be a cookie sale in the Wesley Center at the Woodville Methodist Church, beginning at 1 p.m. and a sneak peek of the reinvigorated Allan Shivers Library and Museum, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Museum will also be open to the public on Friday, as well.
There will also be Christmas fun on Saturday evening out at Heritage Village, with the annual Twilight Tour. Gates will open at 5 p.m. for that annual event. Out in Ivanhoe, the city’s awesome lighted boat parade will begin at 6 p.m.
The Chamber is actively looking for food and craft vendors for both days of the event. Vendor spaces are available for the cost of $40 for one day or $70 for both days for food vendors and $25 for one day for craft vendors, or $40 for both days.
The spaces are 10’x10’ and a 10’x20’ can be obtained for double the price. For food vendors, they are required to get the $10 food permit from the City of Woodville, and payment and registration can be obtained through the Chamber’s website, www.tylercountycoc.com. Food vendors can choose to pay separately on the website, and the Chamber will acquire a permit on the vendor’s behalf, to be issued the day of the event.
According to the Chamber, vendors need to be aware that electricity may or may not be available, so please prepare your booth accordingly, especially if you are set up for Friday evening as it will be dark.