Gary ISD hosts 9th Annual Festival of Lights
For the past 8 years, the Gary ISD Student Council has been lighting up the Gary City square for the Christmas Holidays. The Gary ISD Student Council will be hosting the 9th annual GISD Festival of Lights "Christmas Market" in the high school gymnasium with Christmas lights and illuminated 8 foot angels on the Gary Square on December 3, 2016 to kick off this year’s “Christmas Season”. Thousands of lights and 12 eight foot angels are lining the square, each of these beautiful Angels have been donated either in “HONOR OF” or in “MEMORY OF” A FAMILY MEMBER. If you would like to purchase an Angel in honor of someone in your family as a tribute of your love for them, please contact Dr. Ballenger at Gary ISD. Christmas scenes and a dynamic life size Nativity scene will light up the Gary square at approximately 4:00 PM on the day of the “Festival of Lights” which is Saturday December 3rd, and will remain lit up until January 2, 2017. There are over $30,000 worth of lights and different Christmas displays in the park, and all money raised for the festival has been given as generous donations from our supporters of the GISD Student Council “Festival of Lights" or from fund raises by the Gary ISD Student Council. Our Elementary members with the help of the high school members of the Student council are currently selling sausage sticks for $1 each or $50 a box. These are the best sausage sticks that you will ever have tasted, so please support our Gary ISD Student Council and buy some sausage sticks today.
The “GISD Festival of Lights” will be a gala event beginning at 9:00 AM in the morning with entertainment on the Christmas Stage in the High School Gymnasium. This year’s entertainment as always is some of the best in Panola County and the east Texas area.
2016 Festival of Lights Schedule of Entertainment
9:00 - 9:30 – Chase Dawson (A great young singer who performs at the Country Music Hayride in Carthage, Chase is one of our graduates.)
9:30 – 10:00 - PK (These children are so eager to perform for you at the festival. You do not want to miss this enthusiastic and exciting group of delightful students.)
10:00 – 10:30 - KG, 1st, & 2nd grade– Gary School Choir (These students have been working all year for this presentation.)
10:30 – 11:00 – Pet Parade/Elf Parade (Oh my word! You have to see the pet parade to believe the costumes. Enter your pet in the parade if you have a pet.)
11:00 – 11:30 – Holly Deason Shrell (What a talented young lady who is also a graduate of Gary High School.)
11:30 – 12:00 – Silverdew Blue Grass Group (What a talented group under the direction of Ms. Joyce Hughes, and they are magnificent, come and hear them!)
12:00 – 12:30 - Sonshine Singers from Eastside Church (This group is under the direction of Mrs. Connie Burns, and she does a superb job with these young singers!)
12:30 – 1:00 – Texas Made Country Rock Band (This band is also under the direction of Joyce Hughes, and they do rock!)
1:00 – 1:30 – Stacey Cohorst Band (This young man just graduated last year from GHS, and he is going places, too.)
1:30 – 2:00 – 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade Gary School Choir (These students are sure to put on a great show!)
2:00 – 2:30 – Amy Williford (One of our former teachers at Gary and you will not want to miss her performance!)
In between groups Christmas Carols will be played.
There will be approximately 50 food and craft booths available for the public’s enjoyment! The vendor booths are tremendous and extraordinary; we cannot say enough great things about our participants as vendors each year at the festival. The booths this year have some fascinating sale items including jewelry, handbags, boutique clothing, make-up, all kinds of Christmas wreaths and other beautiful Christmas decorations for your home by Ms. Kathy Downing, custom made “Pam” pered furniture by Pam Harvey, decorated gourds, Tupperware, and handmade blankets and quilts. You will also find custom made birdhouses and bird feeders, Lila Rose hair accessories, children's boutique clothing, and many, many more dynamic and exciting vendors. You will not want to miss this chance to start your Christmas shopping. The booths will be open until 3pm. If anyone is interested in renting a booth space for $35 indoor (they go fast!), or new for this year, we have added some outdoor booths that will rent for $25; please contact Mrs. Brooke Cope at (903) 685-2291 Ext. 2204.
The one and only extraordinary and fascinating annual “Pet Parade”, along with the new and exciting “Elf Parade” will begin at 10:30 a.m. We have had some of the most beautiful costumes on our pet entries, and we expect even more glamorous outfits this year; along with some outstanding Elf costumes on some adorable children. If you would like to enter your pet, please call the school and sign up for a cost of $10. The Elf Parade has no charge this year, and any child from birth to 5th grade may dress up like an Elf and enter the parade. If you plan to participate in the Elf Parade let us know at 903-685-2291 and ask for Ms. Lindsey to get a copy of the "Elf ears". Dress your pet and your Elf up and bring them down! We have room for any pet…from a llama to a horse, or even an ostrich! The excitement that these events generate adds a new dimension of thrills to the “Festival of Lights”!
Many Gary ISD school clubs and organizations are participating with the food and craft booths to help raise money for their individual organizations. The Gary ISD Student Council will have a Sweet Booth with homemade sweet treats and soft drinks, NOW this is not your ordinary sweet booth. We will have whole cakes, pecan pies, beautiful Christmas cookies and homemade chocolate fudge you will go crazy over. The parents of the club members provide all of these scrumptious homemade sweets, and we have some of the best bakers in the state of Texas baking for this event! If anyone would like to make a monetary contribution to the GARY ISD Student Council in support of the festival, please bring your donation or even a sweet treat to be sold in the student council booth on Saturday, December 3rd, the day of the festival. The Elementary Repository will be selling mouth-watering nachos, Gary ISD Tennis Team will have barbecue sandwich meals and they always sell out fast… (Ms. April Young is the coach of these student athletes), and the 8th Grade Class will have yummy funnel cakes! Entertainment located in the children’s outdoor area will be a huge jump house with a slide that will be lots of fun, a life-size soccer billiards table run by the Freshman Class, and pony rides…Mr. Butch Downs out of Tatum has the sweetest and most gentle ponies! Ms. Linda Duke will also be doing beautiful face painting in the indoor vendor area. She has been coming to the Festival of Lights for many years and the kids love her work! The entertainment, food and craft booths will be available until 3 PM in the afternoon.
The Festival will also have a Chili Cook-Off event, with several teams competing for the trophy; and I must say that these teams do compete for that trophy each year! The chili is the best you have ever tasted and all of the teams sell out of their homemade chili every year. We sure hope Anadarko will be defending their 8 time Championship this year against a new entry team sponsored by Mr. Curtis Ebarb, who is also a chili cook-off champion from another contest! The ladies from the Gary ISD Food Service team will be participating again this year and they do a fantastic job as well. We still have a few spots open for chili cook-off teams and we welcome anyone who wants to call and sign-up to be a participant. One and all come on down and enjoy some of the best chili in Texas as you listen to our very talented music groups and shop our vendors throughout the day!
Tell everyone to come and enjoy the festivities at the 9th Annual Gary ISD Christmas Festival of Lights to kick-off their Christmas season. The Gary ISD Student Council would certainly appreciate your participation. If you would like to make a contribution to help defray the cost of this beautiful light display, please send donations made payable to the Gary ISD Student Council, 132 Bobcat Trail, Gary, Texas, 75643. All proceeds of the festival go toward buying new Christmas lights and replacing faulty lights that need to be discarded. We hope to see you there!!
Once again, if anyone is interested in renting a booth space please contact Mrs. Brooke Cope at (903) 685-2291 Ext. 2204.