Grayson County's brightest attraction will open for the 19th season Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Grayson County Museum will host an opening night reception at 5 p.m. that will include hot chocolate, sweet treats and a visit with the Santa.

Grayson County Purchasing Agent Jodi Platt, whose other title this time of the year is Elf Services Supervisor, told commissioners Tuesday that all is ready for the big event.

“It doesn't look like the rain is going to hold off, but we are going to have a good time anyway,” Platt said.

To get to the display, exit Crawford Street off of U.S. Highway 75 and take the south access road to the lighted entrance. While there is no charge for the display, donations are accepted at the end of the drive.

Those donations are used to pay the electric bill, refurbish the old sculptures and purchase new ones.

Grayson County Commissioner Phyllis James said that either she or Commissioner Bart Lawrence will be on hand to drive the tractor that pulls a metal sleigh of sorts through the displays for the opening round of visitors. Then at 5:30, that tractor will get out of the way and let the car loads of visitors make their first drive through the display for 2019.

Retired Grayson County Judge Horace Groff and the late Commissioner Butch McCraw started the tradition with help from the Clara Blackford Smith and W. Aubrey Smith Foundations and from the Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation. Ongoing donations from those foundations and many local businesses have helped to pay for upgrades and changes at the display over the years. But the bulk of the funding for the display has come from the people who make donations at as they leave the park. Their financial support, along with the support of the people who volunteer to man the donation booth, have kept display going from year to year.

Those volunteers in the donation booth do more than just take up money. They wish each carload of folks a Merry Christmas and pass out a sweet treat to make the ride home even merrier. And should there be any four-legged family members in the car with the rest of the crew, the volunteers have treats for them too.

Platt said there are still some spots available for folks who would like to join the army of volunteers who man the donation booth each year. To find out more about that, please visit and look for the sign-up link at the bottom of the page.