Dallas City Hall Plaza was transformed into a winter wonderland on Friday as families and neighbors bundled up for a night under the stars—or, more accurately, under the glittering lights of a giant holiday tree and the snap, crackle, and pop of holiday fireworks. The annual free "Deck the Plaza" event, replete with live entertainment and a slew of festive activities, was anchored by the tree lighting ceremony headlined by none other than Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins and City Manager T.C. Broadnax, according to the City of Dallas.
The joyous bash kicked off with the Molina High School Marching Band and a slew of other tantalizing acts, including the Mighty Molina Modern Live Band and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Jazz Combo, who decked the stage with melody and mirth, while the Flame Foundation and Navillera groups added a dash of flamenco fire and Korean grace to the lineup.
Santa himself and Mrs. Claus took time from their pre-Christmas chaos to snap photos with the kiddos. The city hall plaza shimmered with enough holiday lights to make Rudolph's nose seem dim. Meanwhile, the kids were offered a slew of distractions, including real snow to frolic in, carriage rides, and even mini-train rides.
And while the eggnog may not have been spiked—after all, this was a family affair—it was a night that made even the frostiest hearts grow three sizes. The event not only featured the grand lighting of a 50-foot-tall holiday tree but also promised attendees the chance to nibble on snacks from food trucks, bound about in bounce houses, and marvel at a striking holiday fireworks display to close off the evening with a bang.
Amidst the fanfare, Pastor Richie Butler and Chaplain John H. Lumbley delivered heartwarming messages from the faith community, drawing on the season's spirit of community and reflection. City Manager Broadnax said, “This is a special celebration to engage with Dallas residents, City employees, and their families,” signaling that the event was more than just a show; it was a heartfelt gesture to the people of Dallas. For those who preferred to bask in the holiday glow from the comfort of their homes, the city made sure the full event and the tree-lighting countdown were broadcast across several channels for all to join in the cheer, per the City of Dallas.