10th annual lighting ceremony takes place Monday

When the lights come on at Holiday Village, you know the holidays have officially begun.

Lighting ceremony festivities for Brownsville’s 10th annual miniature cottage display begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25 at Dean Porter Park, with the actual flipping of the switch scheduled for 7 p.m. Thirty-three cottages will be decked out in seasonal finery, including three remodels and one “new build,” according to event organizers. The event, put on entirely by volunteers each year, is free and open to the public.

The diminutive structures were transported from storage to the park three weeks ago.

“This really is a labor of love for us, and we’re so excited to be celebrating our 10th consecutive seasons,” said Holiday Village Chairwoman Laurie Ray.

Festivities will include live music, more than $1,000 in door prizes and free Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the first 1,000 attendees. Back this year is Fritter, Holiday Village’s elusive elf on the shelf, and the “Find Fritter” children’s contest (visit the Holiday Village website for rules).

Edible treats will be available from a variety of vendors during the six weeks Holiday Village is on display, with local dance groups, choirs, school groups and others providing live performances. After Nov. 25, the cottages will be lit at 6 p.m. nightly. Santa Claus will be on hand for free photographs Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

This year’s sponsors include Big Give Brownsville, the Brownsville Parks and Recreation Department, H-E-B Helping Here, the Mitte Foundation, Para Furniture, Valley Baptist Medical Center Brownsville and Village Accountants.

Conceived by Brownsville resident Mellena Conner, Holiday Village in Dean Porter Park started in 2010 with 10 cottages. Among the cottages on display now are the Historic Stillman House, Santa’s Hunting & Fishing Lodge, Gingerbread Bakery, General Store, Santa’s Workshop, Hanukkah by the Sea, Village Library, North Pole Clinic, and Elf Bunkhouse.

Holiday Village Lighting Ceremony

7 p.m., Nov. 25, Dean Porter Park

For more information, log onto www. holidayvillagebrownsville.com