The committee behind Grayson County’s Holiday Lights held the first meeting of the season this week to plan this year’s edition of display.
The major decision reached is that the display will once again be open from the day after Thanksgiving till at least the last day of December.
Some folks on the committee asked that the group consider allowing it to be open into the first week of January to pair nicely with other winter attractions in the Denison area including Holiday On Ice.
Grayson County Purchasing Agent Jodi Platt said she would find out how much it costs to keep the lights open for the additional week while others on the committee agreed to check with the Denison Police Department about the availability of officers to provide security for the event for the extra days.
The Denison PD provides an off duty officer to work as security at the donation stand each night of the display’s run.
Generally, the Grayson County maintenance crew starts taking the lights out of storage and putting them together and up during the last week of October or earliest part of November.
Grayson County Holiday Lights is made possible each year by the donations given from those who enjoy the display and by the hard work of the people who show up each night to take up the donations and greet visitors. Those greeters make up one of the largest groups of volunteers in the county and are the backbone of the event.
This was Platt’s first Holiday Lights committee meeting without Jeff Schneider who retired this year. Schneider had overseen each annual edition of the lights since its inception. The group will meet again near the end of October to finalize the run dates for the display and plan the opening night festivities.
There is no charge to drive through the display that runs from 5:30-10 p.m. each night from the Friday after Thanksgiving through at least the end of December. However, volunteers man a booth at the end of the display to greet visitors, wish them a Merry Christmas, give them a little something sweet and accept any donation that might be offered. The proceeds from those donations are used to pay for the electricity used to keep the lights burning, replace broken bulbs and to replace displays when they become worn or old. The funds are also used to pay for overtime for county employees who work it getting the lights up and keeping them running throughout the season.