Historical foundations lights up derricks Nov. 16

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The annual lighting of the derrick stars in the City of Kilgore’s signature skyline requires careful coordination by members of Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation – even more so this year as ‘A Very Derrick Christmas’ expands with more holiday festivities.

There’s less than a week to go until the event’s second ‘Winter Wonderland’ returns: KHPF joined forces with the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, sponsors and new volunteers in 2016 to add more free family-friendly activities to the annual ceremony’s lineup. This year’s holiday kick-off runs 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, on the World’s Richest Acre and surrounding streets.

The main stage at the intersection of North Kilgore Street and North Street will host the ceremonial switch, and the foundation has recruited four people to lend a hand in throwing it: 2017 First Lady of Kilgore Peggy Bowne along with Kilgore Mayor (and KHPF co-founder) Ronnie Spradlin have been invited as well as 2017 Citizens of the Year Julie Beck and Carrie Jackson.

The lighting itself is set for 5:50 p.m. amid an array of live entertainment, the multicolored derrick stars poised to shine down on numerous games and activities running the full three-hours of the event.

The stage show is spearheaded by Kilgore City Clerk Deborah Dane and includes a solo by the Rev. Harry Caldwell plus performances by the Kilgore College Rangerettes, KC Dance Industry, New Birth Fellowship Choir, Sabine Singing Sensations, In-Step Dance Company, St. Luke’s Children’s Choir and the Kilgore High School Hi-Steppers.

The Winter Wonderland’s largest attraction on Commerce Street is the inflatable Snowzilla slide, back for a second year. It will be surrounded by ‘Reindeer Games’ including a foam snowball fight, arts and crafts, facepainting, storytelling, a holiday photo booth and a corner for Santa Claus.

Food and merchandise vendors will also be waiting for visitors, and downtown retailers and restaurants are getting into the holiday spirit as well with decorations and event-specials.

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