The newly elected mayor of Farmersville had this idea to bring smiles to the residents of the city he was elected to lead. He called it Farmersville Lights.
Mayor Bryon Wiebold’s notion was to light up a parkway leading into downtown with an array of Christmas lights and displays.
Well, the city turned on the lights a few days ago and I am happy to report that they are being well-received not only by the city’s residents, but by those who venture to the Collin County community to enjoy their splendor.
Wiebold wants the city to give folks an additional reason to smile, given the misery we are enduring in 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic. Farmersville has been forced to cancel a number of community events throughout the spring through autumn because of the virus. Wiebold, working with Main Street manager Kevin Casey, thought the city could use a healthy dose of Christmas cheer to bid 2020 adieu and welcome in the new year.
At least, though, we have some additional reason to look forward to 2021. The Food and Drug Administration has given Pfizer the go-ahead to begin distributing a vaccine that scientists hope spell the end of the pandemic. It will take time to get it out there and for the disease to start subsiding.
In the meantime, folks in North and Northeast Texas can climb aboard buggies to be pulled around in the evening to look at the lights arrayed along Farmersville Parkway, or to visit merchants encircling the downtown square.
Wiebold’s idea has been funded by businesses that have donated tens of thousands of dollars to pay for the lights and for the various activities that occur along the parkway and the square.
Farmersville Lights will run through Dec. 31. Then they’ll come down. The new mayor wants to make it an annual event.
I concur fully with his desire. Perhaps next year and beyond we’ll be past this pandemic and we can enjoy the Christmas lights, the music and the good cheer without fear of getting sick.
Farmersville Lights 2020, though, is a terrific start to what the mayor wants to become a community tradition.
John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.
Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.