When I was a little boy, my parents each year took me and my brother on driving trips to look at neighborhoods that had beautiful holiday light displays. 

It was our way of getting into the Christmas spirit. 

We loved looking at houses and yards in which the homeowners went all-out with lights and displays.

As I look back on that period decades ago, I must confess that it didn't take much to get us excited. I can only imagine how blown away we would have been had Marshall's Holiday of Lights Festival existed back in those days.

Conceived in 1987, Wonderland of Lights has grown to rival the best Christmas lights displays in the country.

It is hard to say how many lights make the city's downtown sparkle like a Christmas star. Tourism officials simply put the number at millions. 

Those who go to Marshall will find plenty of other things to do, including skating on an outdoor rink; listening to live music; riding the Holly Trolley, Wonderland Express or restored vintage 1948 Herschel Carrousel; touring neighborhoods known for fantastic light displays; or strolling through Santa's Village, a collection of tiny homes each featuring a fun and free activity.

More information is available at marshalltexas.net

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