While Christmas in the Park will celebrate its third season, the inception of the event began over 13 years ago when Karen Davenport saw a town without any Christmas decor or events.
The former president of the Glen Rose Downtown Association quickly raised funds to purchase the town’s Christmas tree, lights and wreaths for courthouse and light poles.
Davenport did not stop there, as she had a steel “Christmas in the Park” donation box installed in Heritage Park with the dream filling the park with lights and activities. Donations trickled in over the years, yet the needed community support to transform this dream into reality was lacking.
In early 2009 John Hawkins enthusiastically contacted Karen Richardson of the Glen Rose Downtown Association asking, “Why don’t we have a Christmas in the Park at Heritage?” Community support at last arrived with Hawkins and a core group of volunteers. With little money, the group went to work to secure funds and support.
The Somervell County Commissioners Court and the county's Historical Commission heartily approved the event, as did the City of Glen Rose. City, county employees, GRDA members, Glen Rose Garden Club, area churches and school groups worked together with the new Christmas in the Park crew to ready Heritage Park for the December 2009 debut of Somervell County’s “Christmas in the Park.”
Future plans for the annual event quickly expanded when Davenport, who also drives a school bus, noticed Glen Lake Camp readying for a giant yard sale including their vast outdoor holiday lights collection. Quickly, funds were pledged from Somervell County, the City of Glen Rose and the Glen Rose Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to purchase the entire lot from the camp.
The event has grown over the last two years and Christmas in the Park 2011 will now expand from Heritage Park to the Riverwalk and Oakdale Park. Look for lots of surprises with this year's event, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17.