Marshall’s area attractions have teamed up with the 31st Annual Wonderland of Lights to present Wonderland of Sites; an Art, History and Steeple Tour. The event slated for Saturday, December 16th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. is a come and go, self-guided affair. You may visit all of the sites, or select a few, and go in any particular order. Event maps for this free event are currently available at the Convention & Visitors Bureau located at 301 N. Washington. The 2017 Wonderland of Sites Participants are: The Starr Family Home State Historic Site, Historic Harrison County Courthouse & Museum, Gingko Leaf Gallery, The Michelson Museum of Art and Trinity Episcopal Church. “We have just the right mix of history, art and stained glass for all of our visitors to enjoy,” said Tourism, Promotions and Communications Coordinator Rachel Skowronek.
Each location has pulled out all the stops to make for a memorable afternoon embodying the Christmas spirit. The Starr Family Home State Historic Site, 407 West Travis Street, will be open for free tours of the grounds with newly restored rooms open to the public. The day will be followed by the third annual Community Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long with music by Amelia Blake Garner and Dan Garner, 6:30-8:00pm. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the evening festivities!! Free and open to the public. Please dress for the weather. If the weather is too cold or raining all activities will move to the Blake House.
Downtown’s Gingko Leaf Gallery, 212 N. Washington Avenue, houses 35 East Texas and Louisiana Artists. The gallery features locally created, unique handmade gifts and original art including pop-art, sculpture, carved stone, fibers arts and more. Indulge in the art and observe the buildings historic architecture.
The Michelson Museum of Art, 216 North Bolivar, public gallery entryway of the museum lights and sparkle on the 13 foot Christmas tree give a first impression of the wonder of the season. In the Carlile Gallery, view “Opening- Drawing Stories, the Picture Book Art of Marla Frazee”. The exhibit includes seventy-eight original renderings of illustrations from eighteen of her books and offers an in-depth examination of the relationship between visual art and the printed word. Two of the books featured are winners of the prestigious Caldecott Medal that is awarded each year to recognize the most distinguished American picture book for children. They are All the World, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Ms. Frazee; and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever written and illustrated by Ms. Frazee. The exhibit opens October 10 and closes December 23.
The Historic Trinity Episcopal Church, 106 N. Grove Street, ( founded 1851) will be open for tours of the beautiful Willit, restored stain glass windows in the sanctuary. The windows announce the Good News of the gospel message; the art in each one tells a different story from scripture. Walking tours of the windows are self-guided. The Whaley Pipe Organ and traditional greenery of Advent complete the scene. Step in, rest, and experience peace during this busy season. Coffee and souvenir printed material documenting research on the windows will be available. Trinity Church is 3 blocks West of the square at the corner of Houston and Grove; just look for the star on the bell tower.
Visitors to the Harrison County Historical Museum, 200 West Houston, will learn about some of the most colorful characters from local history as they tour the much-praised history exhibits located in the 1901 Harrison County Courthouse. Two people from history that visitors may meet are Isaac Van Zandt, one of the founders of Marshall, and Patricia Anderson, Bishop College student who was part of the first Civil Rights demonstration in Texas that was held in downtown Marshall. Visitors can also take a narrated architectural tour of the building and grounds. The famous courthouse situated in the center of Marshall’s historic square was designed by well-known Texas courthouse architect James Riely Gordon. The Classical Revival building with Beaux Arts elements is included in top ten lists of Texas’ most beautiful county courthouses.
For more information about Wonderland of Lights Christmas activities, call the Marshall Convention & Visitors Bureau at 903-702-7777 or log onto www.wonderlandoflights.com. Follow Wonderland of Lights on Facebook for up to date information, pictures, and more.