Christmas Festival kicks off Liberty Hill’s holiday season

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The Liberty Hill Christmas Festival Planning Committee, which is under the direction of the Ministerial Alliance includes, from left, Christy Grant, Cheryl Stephens, Laura Caswell, Hallie Gainer, Heidi Watts, Julie Connella, Pastor Michael Wright of Fellowship Church and Pastor Paul Frerichs of Mission Liberty Hill Lutheran Church. Pastor Wright is current president of the Ministerial Alliance. (Courtesy Photo)

The Liberty Hill Christmas Festival Planning Committee, which is under the direction of the Ministerial Alliance includes, from left, Christy Grant, Cheryl Stephens, Laura Caswell, Hallie Gainer, Heidi Watts, Julie Connella, Pastor Michael Wright of Fellowship Church and Pastor Paul Frerichs of Mission Liberty Hill Lutheran Church. Pastor Wright is current president of the Ministerial Alliance. (Courtesy Photo)

By SARAH SILBERSTEIN

The 60 degree days forecasted for the weekend of the Liberty Hill Christmas Festival won’t feel like winter, but organizers promise the festival will help put attendees in the Christmas spirit.

The festival, a Liberty Hill tradition since 2006, will be held from 12-5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 at Lions Foundation Park. The two-day event features craft vendors, food trucks, Santa’s Village, children’s activities, the Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk, car show, live music, an Angel Tree, appearances by Santa Claus and Santa Paws, a non-denominational community church service, Christmas Parade and the Trail of Lights.

On Saturday, Light the Night, which is hosted by the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce and City of Liberty Hill, will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the community church service will begin at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the Jingle Bell 5K begins at 2 p.m. and the Christmas Parade begins at 2:10 p.m. Both the run and the parade depart from Liberty Hill Elementary School and wind through downtown on Loop 332, ending at Lions Foundation Park.

Pastor Michael S. Wright of Fellowship Church, who is chairing this year’s Christmas Festival Committee as president of the Ministerial Alliance, said that the festival “is an opportunity for Liberty Hill to shine.”

“We believe that Liberty Hill is an exceptional community because we have continued our Christian traditions and beliefs in spite of pressures from the outside,” Wright said. “One of the things we keep talking about is making sure that this festival is helping to keep Christ in Christmas.”

Wright, who has been involved in the Christmas festival off and on through his affiliation with the Liberty Hill Ministerial Alliance since his arrival in Liberty Hill in 2007, says that festival organizers are working on making improvements to the event and are looking ahead to the future.

“The truth is, there’s been one or two people carrying this load and they’ve done such a great job that it’s outgrown their shoulders and we want to make sure that we’re able to come alongside as a community to do what needs to be done,” Wright said during the Nov. 10 meeting of Liberty Hill Economic Development Corporation. “There are some amazing volunteers that have just a great vision for the festival to be, not just a Christmas festival, but to be about bringing the community of Liberty Hill together.”

The festival, which organizers estimate will have between 1,000 and 2,000 people in attendance, has an operating budget of $20,000. Wright said the festival budget will be used to cover the “logistics of pulling the thing off” which includes marketing, decorations, the sound system and stage.

In looking ahead to the future of the Liberty Hill Christmas Festival, organizers plan to incorporate the festival next year.

The festival currently operates under the Liberty Hill Development Foundation’s 501c3 charitable status and Wright feels that becoming incorporated and establishing a 501c3 is the “logical evolution” to formalize organization of the festival.

“I’m always a believer that we should be planning not for us but for our successors,” Wright said. “That’s really what this is about is making it easy for them and providing good organization so that they can come in easily and let the organization run itself.”

For more information about the Liberty Hill Christmas Festival, go to www.Facebook.com/lhchristmas.

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