Every good Planoite knows the Christmas season doesn’t officially begin until Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano. Celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way at this free, family-friendly festival on Friday, December 4, from 6-10pm. Entertainment begins at 6pm, with the official Haggard Park Tree Lighting at 7pm. Here’s your guide to everything that’s happening.
Kids (and adults) can visit Santa and have their photos made from 6:30-9pm. Afterwards, they can drop their Christmas wish lists off in Santa’s mailbox outside the Interurban Railway Museum.
Multiple vendors will provide treats and hot drinks, including these participating downtown restaurants: Lockhart’s Smokehouse, Jorg’s Café Vienna, Angela’s at the Crosswalk, Urban Crust, Cajun Tailgators, and Ye Ole Butcher Shop.
Part of 15th Street will be blocked off to allow visitors to walk around downtown Plano and enjoy live music and performances at six different locations, including the Haggard Park bandstand. Throughout the evening, there will be entertainment by local musicians, dance troops, drama troops, choirs, bands, string quartets and more. The Interurban Railway Museum will have readings of the Polar Express at 6:30pm and 7:30pm.
There will be plenty of fun for the tiniest festivalgoers: a skating rink, bounce house, inflatable slide, Inflatable obstacle course and mini train rides! Families may also choose to bundle up under a blanket and take a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the festivities.
The Historic Downtown Plano Association will be giving away reusable HDPA shopping bags to the first 100 families to stop by the outdoor table next Angela’s at the Crosswalk. The bags will be full of freebies and exclusive coupons from downtown Plano businesses, redeemable on the December 9th Dine, Drink and Shop event in downtown Plano. So get there early!
A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM:
First Christian Church of Plano will be simultaneously hosting their own free Christmas event just a few steps from Dickens. All families are welcome to walk over to the traditional Live Nativity outside the church, on the east side facing Haggard Park. Everyone is also invited indoors to visit the “Bethlehem Marketplace,” with seven different old-fashioned activities for kids, including a stop at the “Bakery” to frost cookies, the “Paint Shop” to decorate an ornament, and the “Leather Working Shop” to create their own leather craft (always a favorite).
Click here for a map for the best parking spots during Dickens, or take the DART to the Downtown Plano stop and avoid the hassle altogether.