By Chris Edwards
TYLER COUNTY – With Thanksgiving now just a hint in the rearview mirror and the taste of turkey a memory, the countdown to Christmas is now ticking. This week sees the beginning of countywide Christmas celebrations.
One unique Tyler County tradition that will take place during the Friday and Saturday cheer is the Christmas Twilight Tour at Heritage Village in Woodville. The Village has been decorated by volunteers, and on Saturday, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., attendees can come and tour the Village by oil lamps and lanterns.
Heritage Village director Ofeira Gazzaway said that everyone should come out and enjoy natural greenery, as well as music on the Village Green stage and a Christmas service inside the Cherokee Church.
Attendees can also pick up a snack box as they leave, she said. The event is free for all who wish to attend and is a way of saying “thanks” to all who support the Village.
During the event, tours of the Clyde Gray House Museum are also available. The house, located on the adjacent to the Village, on the property, is the former home and studio of founder and artist Clyde Gray, and serves as a tribute and museum to preserve his legacy.
At 6 p.m., the children from the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, under the direction of Sharon Brown, will perform, followed by the singers from the Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church, under the direction of Bro. Jimbo Swinney. The church service inside the Cherokee Church will be at 7 p.m.
The Tyler County Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Christmas in Tyler County” celebration begins Friday, Dec. 1, with vendors on the town square in Woodville, and the county lighting the Tyler County Courthouse, as well as presenting an open house for the public to see the renovations to the facility.
For the Chamber’s Christmas offerings, it is presenting a Mistletoe Market on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., during the lighting of the downtown Woodville square and courthouse celebration, and the next day, Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are still vendor spots available, and those forms, and pertinent information, can be accessed via the Chamber’s website, www.tylercountycoc.com.
The Chamber is also hosting a tree contest that is open to all businesses in Tyler County. According to Chamber director Holly Wells, the incentive for participants is to “Get creative.”
“It can be a real tree, an artificial one, or not even a tree at all,” Wells said. Participants must submit photos of their entries by Monday, Dec. 11. Voting begins on Tuesday, Dec. 12. There is a $10 entry fee, and the winners will be announced on Dec. 20.
Also during the events next weekend, the Chamber is hosting a Santa’s Workshop event for Chamber business members to provide a craft, or some sort of activity, for the kids, while providing a way to promote businesses, according to Wells.
During Saturday’s events, the Chamber is hosting a car show and toy drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The entry fee is an unwrapped new toy, which will go to the Tyler County Child Welfare Board’s Angel Tree program.
Wells said the theme is for participants to decorate their car, truck motorcycle in Christmas themes, and the public will vote for their favorite.
The Chamber’s Jolly Jeep Jingle will take place at the same time, and the entry fee is $25. Awards will be given in three categories for the Jeep Jingle: Best Christmas Decorated; People’s Choice and Chamber’s Choice.
There is also a separate contest, with a $10 entry fee for “Superb Sound and Custom System,” for Jeep owners to show off what their sound systems can do.
The Rotary Club of Woodville will host its tasty annual Christmas fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., “Breakfast with Santa.”
Pancake and sausage breakfast plates will be available for $5 for children and $6 for adults at the St. Paul’s Episcopal fellowship hall.