The official kick-off for the holiday season will take place in historic downtown with “Christmas in the Plaza.” The new “Christmas in the Plaza” event will take place November 18-19 this year and will feature our first-ever snow tubing hill, along with Christmas Movies in the Park and Santa’s workshop, where your little elves can tinker away making free take-home Christmas crafts.

“We strive every year to improve the festival to showcase what makes Nacogdoches so special and capture the spirit of the holidays,” said Lindsey Mathews, meeting and event coordinator for the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Christmas in the Plaza is just one of the enhancements that has been made to the overall festival. We would like to invite everyone to come out and re-discover the Nine Flags Christmas Festival.”

Friday night’s festivities begin at 4 p.m. and include the classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” movie showing at 7 p.m. along with the snow tubing hill, pony rides, a petting zoo, pictures with Santa, a Whoville costume contest, Santa’s workshop, delicious festival food, and much, much more. The local holiday season will get a high-voltage jump-start when the downtown lighting display featuring more than 3 million lights is set aglow with the flip of a switch November 18 at 6:30 p.m. by the “hands” of Commercial Bank of Texas. Come see the Texas Country Reporter, Bob Phillips, as he takes the first plunge down the snow tubing hill at 4 p.m. Phillips will also judge the Whoville Costume Contest and lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the event.

Saturday’s festivities will be in full swing at 1 p.m. with the opening of the snow tubing hill, pony rides, the petting zoo, and Santa’s workshop. The Nine Flags Christmas Festival committee encourages everyone to participate in the many contests happening Saturday from baking mouth-watering apple pies for a chance to win the All-American Apple Pie Bake-Off to eating the most hot dogs during the Hot Dog Eating Contest sponsored by Frank. Learn how to make Christmas pies, casseroles, and gingerbread houses and creatively package a gift at the “Christmas Demonstration Tent” from 2-6 p.m., and end the evening with the ever-popular “Polar Express” movie showing at 7 p.m. A complete schedule of events can be found at

Everyone is encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, etc. to “Christmas in the Plaza.” Special Nine Flags Christmas Festival blankets will be available for $15 at the event or pick them up beforehand at the Visitor Center, 200 E. Main.

The annual Nine Flags Christmas Festival honors the cultures represented by the nine flags that have flown over Nacogdoches throughout its rich history and pays special tribute to the American flag. The festival continues through Dec. 10. The Nine Flags Christmas Festival is presented by metroPCS and platinum sponsors of the festival include Commercial Bank of Texas, Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, Mike Perry Motor Company, and Wal-Mart.

For more information about the Nine Flags Christmas Festival and Christmas in the Plaza, call (936) 564-7351, or be our friend on facebook @ Christmas Celebration.