By Carla Bass-Staff Writer
Our most colorful display in Jefferson is the Enchanted Forest where you and your family can walk among 125 lighted and decorated trees of various themes, styles and colors, decorated by individuals, organizations, and businesses. There is a myriad rainbow of colors to bring Christmas joy to everyone’s eyes, young and old. Each trip you make in the Enchanted Forest you will see something different you did not notice before, and the children never get tired of revisiting the sight time and again during the holidays
After taking in the sights and sounds that ‘Candlelight’ and ‘Christmas on the Bayou’ offer right here on our own doorstep, there are a few other places that are within a short drive that adults and children alike would enjoy. Kids never get enough of seeing Christmas lights; especially since the bring out the ‘kid’ in everyone, no matter their age.
One of those is “Carmela’s Mini Santa Land” in Longview. Carmela Davis, an accountant in Longview, began her Santa Land because of her love of the lights at Christmastime, and to provide something that families can enjoy together.
Last year her home was one of the presented properties on “The Great American Light Fight” which aired on ABC.
The program featured 20 homes across the nation, competing for a cash prize based on the intricacy of their Christmas decorating talents and skills.
Her winter wonderland features over 2 million lights, more than 250 lighted deer, over 50 inflatable figures, all of which are part of over 860 lighted items on the property. Her house is lit with more than 100,000 lights which are in synchronized with classic Christmas carols playing.
Carmela’s Mini Santa Land is open from 5 p.m. to about 11 p.m. daily through the holiday season.
After 12 years at her home in a residential neighborhood, traffic began to get a little too much for her neighbors. This year it has moved from its previous location at her home in Spring Hill. It is now located at 6085 Hwy 259 N., in Longview (go north on Judson Rd and turn left on Hwy 259, go 4/10 of mile or, if going north on 259, it is past Bar K Ranch Store). The cost is free.
As you travel down I-20 nearing Lindale, there resides a place to right of the interstate called Santa Land, that is known for its brilliant light displays, themed areas and millions of lights that can be seen for miles through the East Texas piney woods of Lindale, Texas. It is known as the Texas Original Drive-Thru Christmas Park
As you enter the 24-acre park, you are surrounded by more than two million lights anywhere you drive within the park. An entry drive bordered in musical lighted trees greets you when you first enter. You will drive through a 250 foot tunnel of lights, and then different vignettes from a glowing Nativity, an Angel section, cowboys which lasso and Dallas Cowboys, Santa’s team of reindeer, among many other scenes are animated or on display.
Open seven days a week from now until January 4 (including holidays).
Their hours are from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Unlike many parks…
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