Kilgore’s star-topped derricks are one of its oldest traditions – granted, they weren’t always lit with LEDs.
Decades back, Boomtown residents could look up to the stars during the holidays, and modern day Kilgoreos will get a similar (albeit brighter) view Thursday night at Kilgore Historic Preservation Foundation’s 2018 ‘A Very Derrick Christmas’ celebration.
KHPF has been ushering in the holidays with its annual derrick lighting ceremony since partnering with local donors to resurrect Kilgore’s signature skyline with memorial derricks spread throughout the community and clustered on the World’s Richest Acre.
This year’s lighting – festivities begin at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 – will give audience members a full view of the derrick stars, setting the stage at the intersection of North Kilgore Street and Main. Meanwhile, there’s a wide range of activities nearby and on the World’s Richest Acre. Attendance is once again free Thursday.
Dave Huber notched the emcee spot earlier this month and will welcome a wide variety of entertainers “All Aboard the Star Express” beginning at 6 p.m. He’ll introduce Kilgore Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Citizen of the Year, Kenny Mobbs, to throw the ceremonial switch and light the derricks about 7 p.m.
The holiday kick-off includes free rides on the giant, inflatable ‘Snowzilla’ slide plus an early visit from Santa Claus before he makes his official debut Nov. 27 in the 88th Kilgore Christmas Parade hosted by the chamber, a co-host of the derrick lighting with KHPF and volunteers. The chamber’s Christmas parade shares the “Star Express” theme later this month.
Additional sponsors for 2018’s derrick lighting are Conterra, Republic Services, Citizens National Bank, Reel East Texas Film Festival and Energy Weldfab.
In addition to food and merchandise vendors, activities on the Acre include crafts and games, Christmas stories, photos with Santa and more. Carriage rides will also be taking visitors around downtown during the festivities.