We are engaged fully now in the holiday season where we seek joy and fulfillment at the end of the year … and this year — just like the previous one — has given us plenty of reason to search for reasons to smile.
I want to call attention to a celebration that is occurring about seven miles east of where my wife and I live. It’s in Farmersville, Texas. They call it “Farmersville Lights.” It was the creation that came from the heart and mind of the mayor, Bryon Wiebold.
The year 2020 was tough on everyone. Community events closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Americans everywhere were down in the dumps. We were anxious. Some of us were afraid. Too many of us were sickened by the virus and too many of us clearly died from it.
Wiebold wanted to give visitors to his city a reason to smile. He came up with an idea to light up Farmersville Parkway, a thoroughfare that runs from Texas Highway 78 eastward into downtown Farmersville. The lights would decorate the parkway and the downtown square.
It proved to be a big hit. City officials estimated that 50,000 vehicles traveled along the Parkway to view the lights. This year they expect even more folks to take them in; they also expect an increase in out-of-town visitors, too. As Wiebold told me a year ago, “Hey, it’s Christmas! How can we not try this out?”
Farmersville Lights runs for the month of December. They light ’em up on the first day of the month and douse them on the final day.
One cannot help but smile when you see the splendor of the lights.
I want to take a moment with this brief blog post to offer a salute to the creativity that Mayor Wiebold exhibited by coming up with the idea for Farmersville Lights. He wants to make it an annual event. I suspect quite strongly he will have accomplished that mission.
May they continue to shine brightly even after we get past the pandemic and emerge from what feels like a permanent state of grumpiness.