Former Grayson County Judge Horace Groff addressed a group of County employees, their family, as well as family and friends of Grayson County Holiday Lights, as the 13th year of the display kicked off the way it always has, with a ride through the lights Friday.

Former Grayson County Judge Horace Groff addressed a group of County employees, their family, as well as family and friends of Grayson County Holiday Lights, as the 13th year of the display kicked off the way it always has, with a ride through the lights Friday.


Groff said the display wouldn’t have been possible in the beginning without support from foundations like the Oliver Dewey Mayor and Clara Blackford Smith and Aubrey Smith foundations. Former Howe Mayor Ray Bledsoe’s hard work and desire also helped get the tradition off the ground.


Groff said the display would not continue running without the hard work of Grayson County’s Chief Elf Jeff Schneider, known the rest of the year as the county’s purchasing agent, and the County’s Facilities Maintenance Department led by Gregg Allen. The County workers put the displays up each year, keep them running all through the season and then take them down and put them away. The overtime they work is paid for out of the donations people give to the project.


This year, the display features 2,000 feet of new road and new designs that feature LED lights. The new designs feature whimsical items including a sea serpent, a cowboy tree and a large boat. It also features a brand new Victorian village. The LED designs, Schneider said, are much brighter than the older designs and cost less to run. They do, however, cost more to purchase. The plan is to continue to add to the LED section of the display in future years.


County employees turn on the lights at 5:30 p.m. nightly until Dec. 31. The lights go dark at 10 p.m. each night. There is no charge to enter the display, but donations are accepted at the end of the drive. The people taking up the donations volunteer their time to the project.


Denison Chamber of Commerce President Anna McKinney said she has no problem getting people to volunteer their time to the project. The problem she has these days, she said, is finding a space for people who want to volunteer.


McKinney said, when the display first started 13 years ago, she worried that the experience might get old and people might stop would coming after a few years, "but it has become a part of the holiday tradition of so many families," McKinney said. For many families that tradition includes not only their human members, but their canine ones as well.


To get to the display, take the Crawford Street exit from U.S. Highway 75 in Denison, then take the south access road to the lighted entrance.