Christmas parade

Santa Claus making an appearance in the December 2018 Christmas in Toyland  parade themed city parade.

The city of Palestine announced Wednesday, Nov. 25 it was canceling the Christmas Parade of Lights and Palestine Main Street Wine Swirl.

The events were set for Saturday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 12 respectively.

“Due to the continuing rise in COVID cases and our hospital nearing capacity before the holiday season begins, I have chosen to close certain group events that have been sponsored by the city,” said Steve Presley, Mayor and emergency manager. “It is never an easy decision to cancel an event, especially those that so many of our residents enjoy attending.”

In lieu of the Christmas Parade of Lights, the city of Palestine will be hosting a Christmas Light Tour and decorating contest for residential and commercial properties within the city limits.

There will be two prize categories for residential properties: Traditional and Eclectic (think Griswold) and one prize awarded for commercial business properties.

In an effort to encourage the Christmas spirit, a driving tour will be designed from the submissions for the contest. Entries need to be submitted by noon Friday, Dec. 11.

Judging will take place Saturday, Dec. 12.

To enter your property, please complete the form at

A cash prize of $100 per category will be awarded to the top winner in each of the three categories.

You do not need to enter the contest to have your home or business featured as a destination on the tour. If you do not want to be judged, please email your property address to or call 903-723-3526.

To view the submissions and enjoy a night on the town looking at the decorated homes and businesses, download the Visit Palestine app in Google Play or Apple Store and choose “Tours” at the top right. From there, you will be able to choose Christmas Light Tour.

Refunds for tickets purchased for the Wine Swirl event will be issued automatically. Ticket holders will receive an email beginning next week notifying them that we are processing the refund and it is requested that you please allow for up to 10 days for the refund to process.

“We want to extend our appreciation to our Grand Reserve sponsors Palestine Toyota and Shelby Savings Bank,” said Mary Raum, Tourism and Market Manager for the city of Palestine. “In addition, the following local businesses committed to sponsoring this year’s event: Pumping Services Inc., Commercial Bank of Texas, Dickens Fine Jewelry, Prosperity Bank, Rutledge Auto Group, Oncor and Palestine Air and Heat. We are hopeful that they will be able to support the event in the future. “

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