Dozens of derricks will soon be aglow in downtown Kilgore.

In a year when holidays have offered a chance to escape life’s stressors, Kilgore plans to ring in the Christmas season in traditional fashion: with the annual derrick lighting ceremony in the heart of downtown. It’s set for this Saturday, November 14, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A yearly tradition, “A Very Derrick Christmas” will offer many of the sights and experiences hometown crowds have come to love over the years, including live entertainment from Kilgore High School Hi-Steppers and Kilgore College Rangerettes, shopping and dining and a visit from St. Nick himself.

The entire offering is a production of sorts, built around not only the lighting, although that’s the evening’s main event, but the performances, the shopping and just good old-fashioned Christmas fun.

It’s put together by Kilgore Main Street, the Kilgore Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Kilgore and the Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation.

“Community involvement is what makes this event a great success each year. And this year is not different,” said Main Street Coordinator Meredeth Brown.

Community truly is at the heart of the event, and all are welcome once again to the celebration. However, with an eye towards safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, attendees are asked to observe social distancing protocols and practice safety precautions.

“We have a list of performers from the community starting at 5:50 and running up until the lighting of the Derricks at 7 p.m.,” Brown said.

“Our world-famous Rangerettes will be the last performance for the night.”

As an additional safety precaution, Brown noted, the event will not provide seating for guests. Instead, guests are asked to bring their own chairs, if seating is desired, and to remain socially distanced from other groups seated at the event.

Though there are a few small changes to this year’s event, including the absence of the ever-popular giant inflatable slide for the kids, many of your favorite faces and places will be joining in the festivities.

“Our downtown shops and restaurants will be open along with over 50 artisan and food vendors. This will be the place to kick off your holiday shopping and find that perfect unique gift!”

Brown said one of the event’s most popular guests will be making his yearly flight in from the North Pole to make sure Kilgoreos can communicate their Christmas wishes (and snap a photo for mom and dad.)

“Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making a visit from 5 to 8 — to keep Santa and Mrs. Claus safe we will not be sitting in his lap this year. But you will not want to miss this picture opportunity!” Brown said, adding there “will be something for all ages to enjoy as we ‘Kick off the Holiday Season in Kilgore.’”

For additional Information, please contact Meredeth Brown at meredeth.brown@cityofkilgore.com or by phone at 903-988-4117. Also, visit www.kilgoremainstreet.com/a-very-derrick-christmas.

If you are interested in being a vendor please contact the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce at 903-984-5022 or email lmorgan@kilgorechamber.com for a vendor application.

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