Denton Begins Holidays With Lights, Wassail

Tree Lighting Festival brings thousands to Denton's downtown square

Denton started off the holiday season by flipping on the lights on the downtown Christmas tree Friday evening.

Downtown businesses spiced up the season during the Tree Lighting Festival's wassail contest.

Some shop owners shared their recipes, while others kept things a little more secret.

Businesses such as Cellar 22 competed for the best wassail title and made the preparations a family affair.

"He [father] comes up with the recipe, and he enjoys making it. I stand by and taste it when it's done," Cellar 22 owner Amanda Espinoza said.

But the friendly competition can get heated.

"For us, it's the fun, not the competition," Garden Gate owner Traci Davis said, "There are a lot of other stores that really want to win."

As businesses battled, families enjoyed Christmas lights and music outdoors. The wet weather didn't push back the event's setup.

"It is a rain-or-shine event," festival organizer Marcus Watson said. "You have to take these chances. Any time you do an outdoor festival, you run the risk of getting rained out. We are really proud of it."

"It's our time to work together and join hands and say, 'This is our community, and we are here to celebrate it,'" Espinoza said.

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