There's plenty of holiday cheer to go around in Cleburne, TX, where signature holiday events are paired with the town’s historic western roots. From holiday gift markets and cowboy-themed holiday scenes to twinkling lights at the Christmas parade, there are many ways to make the season bright. Here are 9 events that will make the holidays in Cleburne a special time of year for you and your family.
The Holiday Gift Market
Give the gift of art when you shop at The Holiday Gift Market, November 1-December 31 at JN Long Cultural Arts Complex. Discover one-of-a-kind gifts and decorations by local artists and artisans. Handmade finds include woodcarvings, artwork, crochet or quilted bags, or custom-made jewelry. The Holiday Gift Market is open Tuesday-Saturday each week from 10am-4pm.
Holiday Open House
Get a head start on your holiday shopping during Downtown Cleburne’s Holiday Open House, November 6-7. More than forty shops and businesses will be offering specials and discounts and a chance to win prizes during the weekend shopping event. Enjoy light refreshments as you check off your gift list going from shop to shop.
Pioneer Days Celebration
Step back in time to the 1850s at the 18th annual Pioneer Days Celebration, November 12-13 at Chisolm Trail Outdoor Museum. Visit Wardville, a Wild West village where history lovers can take a guided tour by period-dressed volunteers. History lovers can participate in a Civil-War encampment to experience what life was like during that time. Bring the whole family — activities include honey tastings, crafts for kids, blacksmith working, live music and food and art vendors.
Whistle Stop Lighting Ceremony
Kick off the Christmas season with the Whistle Stop Lighting Ceremony at Hulen Park on November 22. The festivities will begin at 6:30pm with carolers from the Texas Tradition Chorus to get you in the Christmas spirit. The tree lighting will take place at 7pm. Watch Hulen Park transform into a winter wonderland right before your eyes.
Whistle Stop Christmas
Celebrate the holidays at the 25th annual Whistle Stop Christmas taking place November 22-December 31 at Hulen Park and Downtown Cleburne. The celebration begins with a tree lighting on Nov. 22 and the annual lighted parade on Dec. 3. Children can give their wish list to the big man himself and enjoy train rides each Friday and Saturday from 5-9pm. Activities and entertainment will be taking place all season long throughout Cleburne, from “Elf the Musical” to Breakfast with Santa, and more!
Whistle Stop Lighted Christmas Parade
See the town shine in the annual Whistle Stop Lighted Christmas Parade on December 3 in Downtown Cleburne. This year marks 25 years celebrating the magic of Christmas. The parade begins at 6:30pm with plenty of fun to follow. Activities include a live nativity scene, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and train rides for the kids. Food trucks, vendors and gifts will be on site.
Candlewalk Tour of Historic Homes
Enjoy a Cleburne tradition that goes back forty-plus years with the Candlewalk Tour of Historic Homes on December 4 from 1-8pm. Candles light the way as you explore elaborately decorated homes during the holidays. Tickets include the tour of homes, a map and specials offered by local businesses.
Candlewalk Driving Tour of Lights
This festive driving experience takes place each evening December 4-31. The Candlewalk Driving Tour of Lights features various decorated homes throughout Cleburne. Pile the family into the car, sing carols, and pick out your favorite holiday display — you can cast your ballot at different places around town.
Cowboy Christmas on the Trail
Experience what life was like at Christmas on the Chisholm Trail during the annual Cowboy Christmas on the Trail, December 11-12. Ride on a covered wagon through four scenes that depict the struggles and excitement of life on the trail. Shop for the unique gifts and check out local vendors while the kids meet Cowboy Claus, decorate ornaments and chow down at the food trucks.
Photo Courtesy of Bob Force, Save Old Cleburne, Heritage Home and Gary Barger