Things to Do

Dickinson Festival of Lights Goes Off Without a Hitch Following Harvey

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Tony Maples Photography


Only three months following its devastation due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey, Paul Hopkins Park in Dickinson was recently transformed into a beautifully-lit winter wonderland. According to a report by NBC DFW citing the Galveston County Daily News as its source, Dickinson launched its Festival of Lights (a very popular yearly event) on November 25, with hundreds of people in attendance to stroll through the park and officially begin the holiday season. Now in its 20th year, the festival runs through December 23, inviting all those in Texas, and many who simply love to travel, to enjoy the festive displays.

Although fewer lights were put up this year by organizers, attributed to Harvey’s toll on Dickinson and the limited number of days to plan for the festival, thousands of lights still draped the walkways of the park. “It’s not as big as we wanted, but I think it looks amazing considering all that’s happened,” said a local volunteer and coordinator. “Seeing people come out and enjoy themselves is everything. We lost everything in Harvey, but it’s good to know there’s still joy in the world.”

Dickinson Festival of Lights Goes Off Without a Hitch Following Harvey

Photo: Facebook/Dickinson Festival of Lights Society

Festival organizers began planning at the moment Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters started to recede. Volunteers started stringing lights one day per weekend commencing in October through the month of November until they could work every day throughout the final week prior to the event opening. Weekends would normally be a full-blown effort, however, the festival board wanted to allow volunteers the time to work on their homes as well as the event if they so wished, opting for a festival which was slightly smaller this year. According to local reports, the attendees haven’t noticed a huge difference and have given credit to those involved despite this year’s horrendous weather events.

For those looking for a sense of normal or closure to the events of this year, the Dickinson Festival of Lights has brought some reprieve. For Melinda Miller, who lost the majority of her belongings in the storm and suffered the personal loss of her father shortly thereafter, it was a time for enjoyment. “I love it every year,” she explained. “Christmas is my favorite time of the year and we just love coming here. It’s so good for the community they still had it.”