Christmas in July

A merry bunch of elves celebrated Christmas in July for their table theme in the Summer Concert Series' tables decorating contest. Pictured from left, Allyson Mitchell, Linda Dickens, Patrick Willis, Jo Ellan and Ben Walley.

Despite a few afternoon showers, locals and visitors came out to the Oxbow Hollow just in time for some live music and libations Saturday.

“It keeps getting better and better,” said Michele Merryman-Bell, director of the Palestine Area Chamber. “What I really love about the Summer Concert Series is that we are promoting our own local musicians as well as injecting new talent and exposing our town to some really amazing musicians through this event.”

Visitors from Dallas, Oklahoma, and Colorado added to the nearly 200 lounging in the park at tables, on blankets, and in lawn chairs.

The Cocktail Camper served as a beer garden; kids enjoyed games, and families and groups brought their own picnics to the event.

One group of ladies brought their own card table.

Michael Paul Jones and the band Blindpursuit was the opening act for the evening, playing a mix of soft rock and country ballads. They were followed by the unique blend of Americana, gospel, and rock that is The Magils.

This event, sponsored by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce and Smooth Rock 93.5,, presents a three-event concert series, over three months, in Oxbow Hollow, 215 E. Crawford, in Old Town.

Special to these events will be sponsorship tables and a tablescape competition

There were six table sponsors for the first concert.

Table themes for Saturday’s event included “Christmas in July,” complete with a decorated Christmas tree and wearing Santa hats; “True Southerners,” with plates adorned with fried chicken and pecan pie and hats and sear-sucker pants; “PRMC Keeping Palestine Healthy,” with surgical hats, urine cups filled with gatorade and shots of blue beverages; and “Celebrating America,” adorning the entire table with everything red, white, and blue.

“I didn’t think they could top the first competition, but the table sponsors got really creative for the second showing,” Merryman Bell said. “I’m excited to see what they will come up with next.”

The Tuxedo Cats will wrap up the series on Aug.10.

For each event, the area will open at 5 p.m. Music begins at 6 p.m.

General admission is $10

To participate in the table decorating contest, sponsors purchase a table for eight.

Follow the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook for more details and sponsorships at

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