By MARY RAINWATER
The City of Palestine’s Christmas in July celebration is now under way, with the 12-day event having kicked off on Thursday and continuing this weekend with several yuletide-themed events.
A “Holiday Shopping on Main Street,” event is taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in downtown, Old Town and at the courthouse square — offering historic architecture, shopping, antiques, restaurants and more.
Many retailers have decked their display windows for the event, with some offering “Christmas in July” specials.
The award-winning Sweet Dreams Winery is hosting a “Grapes of Wrath Live” event from 5 to 7 p.m. at its location on ACR 441. Attendees will be able to enjoy wine and wine-a-rita’s in a country setting while listening to live music.
Sabor a Pasion Country House and Bistro, located at 110 ACR 406, will be hosting a Tuscan-style dinner, Vineyard Blessing, Lomanto and Blanc du Bois label unveiling by local artist Janet Staples at 7 p.m. tonight.
The event includes a five-course dinner featuring authentic Italian recipes from chef Simon Webster. Cost is $60. Reservations are required by calling 903-729-9500.
The Texas State Railroad is offering excursions from the Palestine Depot at 11 a.m. both today and Sunday, with a free holiday pastry demonstration by chef Jackson York taking place at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
For train ride tickets, contact the Texas State Railroad at 877-726-7245.
Also this weekend, the Palestine Community Theatre’s production of the popular musical “Annie” continues its debut weekend at the Texas Theater, 213 W. Crawford St., with performances at 7:30 p.m. today and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
For tickets, call 903-723-8383.
Christmas in July continues with daily events through Monday, July 29, when the holiday event schedule and courthouse lawn Christmas decoration theme will be announced.
“We are excited to unveil our 2013 holiday theme and schedule in July,” City of Palestine Marketing Director Breezy Lake-Wolfe said. “Visiting Palestine with the family is special any time of the year, but without a doubt the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years are magical.”
For more information about The 12 Days of Christmas in July events, visit www.visitpalestine.com or contact the Palestine Visitor Center at 903-723-3014.
DAY 5, MONDAY, JULY 22
• Holiday Hospitality in Palestine — Tour our Hotels and B&B’s to experience the warm hospitality of Palestine. Come-and-go at each property. For directions, please contact the Visitor Center 903-723-3014.
— Open house for hotels from 1 to 5 p.m.: Best Western, Comfort Suites, Executive Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, La Quinta and Super 8 Motel.
— Open house for bed & breakfasts from 2 to 4 p.m.: Dogwood Inn and Magnolia Street Inn
— Open house for bed & breakfasts from 3 to 5 p.m.: Fig Tree Manor & Spiritual Retreat and Redlands Historic Inn.
DAY 6, TUESDAY, JULY 23
• Cheese, Wine & Holiday Design at the Hoxie House — 2 to 4 p.m., DIY Holiday Tablescapes, presented by Linda Dickens (Certified Wedding Planner & owner of Charles E. Dickens Fin Jewelry & Gifts. Wine tasting by Sweet Dreams Winery. For more information contact: 903-729-4100. Location: Hoxie House, 110 W. Hoxie St.
• Sounds of Sunset Music in the Vineyard — 6 to 8:30 p.m. Live music in the vineyard with acoustic guitarist, Alex Graser. Enjoy sunset on the deck with cheese & charcuterie platters. $15 per person, BYOB. For more information call: 903-729-9500. Location: Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro, 100 ACR 406.