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Day Trippin': Bright lights, not-so-big cities

By by aprill brandon/abrandon@vicad.com
Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:20 a.m.
Updated Dec. 22, 2010 at 6:22 a.m.

Cuero Christmas in the Park

While many of the bigger cities in Texas host large and spectacular Christmas events all through December, it's the smaller Texas towns that really get in the holiday spirit with their elaborate Christmas displays. From downtowns to river trails, the following towns go all out, setting their towns aglow with millions of twinkling lights.

So, hop in your car, grab yourself an eggnog latte and check out what these towns have to offer.

CUERO: Every year, from Thanksgiving to the New Year, Cuero puts together their Christmas in the Park Lighted Driving Tour at the Cuero Municipal Park. Open nightly from 6-10 p.m., it features more than 120 lighted scenes, from a Gingerbread House to the 17-piece Nativity on Lake Island. Admission is free and donations are accepted at the end of the self-guided tour.

And don't forget, Thursdays are Hot Chocolate Night from 7-9 p.m.

COLLEGE STATION: Open rain or shine is College Station's Santa's Wonderland Lighted Christmas Display all throughout the holiday season. Along with the winding path full of lights, there is also Santa's Town, hayrides and horse and carriage rides, along with food, shops and live music. Tickets are $19.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 12 and under at the gate.

YORKTOWN: Through Dec. 25, Yorktown has their Majestic Lights display throughout their downtown city park and along Coleto Creek.

BASTROP: All along Bastrop's Colorado River riverwalk is the River of Lights, with 120 lighted seasonal displays. Open nightly 6-10 p.m. from Fisherman's Park to Ferry Park, admission is free and nonprofit groups host the trail most evenings to sell hot cocoa, coffee, cookies and other holiday treats.

ATHENS: The Christmas Park - Land of Lights is open from 6-10:30 p.m. through Jan. 2. Located on N.W. Loop 7 in Athens, the park is more than a mile long and has over three million lights, including musical scenes and motion-controlled lighted scenes. Tickets are $20 for a family vehicle and $30 for pickups and commercial vehicles.

FREDERICKSBURG: As part of the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail, Fredericksburg's historic Main Street will be lined with thousands of lights each evening throughout the season and Marktplatz will feature a German-themed Christmas tree and an outdoor ice skating rink.

JOHNSON CITY: Also part of the Christmas Lighting Trail, local homes, businesses and churches add their displays to the town's centerpiece, the 100,000 lights on the Blanco County Courthouse. The town will be ablaze until midnight every night through Jan. 1 and admission to all events is free.

LULING: Downtown Luling will be all aglow this Christmas with its Yule Trail, which will be along Davis Street, as well as in Longer Park, Patton Park and Blanche Park.

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