Although the current activities are geared to the pumpkin patch, downtown Trick or Treat and all things October – and rightfully so – November and December are right around the corner, and Kilgore’s civic organizations, business-owners and the city are in the midst of planning another pretty spectacular holiday season.

The annual derrick lighting event, where Kilgore’s downtown derricks and Christmas lights are officially lit, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14, “A Very Derrick Christmas,” a Kilgore Area Chamber of Commerce and Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation event.

It’ll feature performances by the Kilgore College Rangerettes, the Kilgore High School Hi-Steppers, a certain “guest” from the North Pole and of course, the lighting itself, which seems to make everyone feel a bit better – people are documented as coming from throughout the East Texas region to photograph the derricks and the Kilgore area’s Christmas lights and décor.

Vendors are booking spots now and quickly, said Chamber President and CEO Jill McCartney on Thursday.

“We’ve got them coming in each day,” she said, noting that to secure a spot, call (903) 984-5022, or e-mail lmorgan@kilgorechamber.com. “We’re so excited. Christmas in Kilgore is so special, and coming downtown for the derrick lighting is the best way to get the season under way.”

Yes, the event will be COVID-19-proofed: some changes, while not intrusive whatsoever, are necessary.

“We won’t set up chairs this year for the performances,” McCartney said. “We’re asking people to bring their own chairs if they feel the need to, and to sit with their own families or groups.”

Santa, she noted, will be on a sleigh, or a wagon, and kids won’t sit on his lap, but will be able to get onto the wagon.

The event begins at 3 p.m., and will feature live music and entertainment, the Kris Kringle Market, and naturally, the downtown merchants will be open with special deals and all kinds of Christmas atmosphere, with the lighting of the derricks – the flipping of the “big switch” – as the centerpiece of the evening. It’ll wrap up around 8 p.m.

Also being planned is this year’s Mingle & Jingle, a shopping spectacular and dining soiree, for November 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Ever since the very first Mingle & Jingle event in 2007, this has been a major event on Kilgore’s calendar, and organizers say it will be once again.

The annual Christmas parade – in its 90{sup}th{/sup} year – will be Tuesday night, December 1, at 6:30 p.m. It seems each year, the Christmas parade gets bigger and bigger, themed “Christmas in the Oil Patch” this year.

As each of these events get planned and more details are available, the details will be revealed here in the News Herald. Be sure, as well, to check the Facebook pages for Kilgore Main Street, the Kilgore Area Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Kilgore, Texas.

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