WAXAHACHIE

The annual Christmas parade and community tree lighting kicked off the holiday season Tuesday night on the Ellis County Courthouse square.

The Christmas tree and floats, however, were not all that lit up the night sky.

The rooftops surrounding the courtyard square brightly shined along, too. Melissa Chapman, Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association marketing chair, said this is the first time all of the rooftops have been lined with Christmas lights in over a decade.

“This had been done in the past,” Chapman said. “Unfortunately, they haven’t been lit for many years now. We have such a beautiful downtown with all our historic buildings. It was time we got them dressed for the holidays.”

Chapman said the WDMA collaborated with the city to light up the rooftops around the square. Since she needed the owners’ permission to hang lights from the top of their buildings, Chapman said she had to communicate with all of the business owners that were on the square.

“To do the rooftops, you’ve got to work with each individual building owner,” she said. “I just started hitting the pavement and talking to them one-by-one to get their permission. There are about 10 different business owners. One person owns that building, and another person owns this building. You’ve got to get all 10 of them to agree.”

Participating businesses include Happy’s Home Furnishings, Griffin & Associates Law Offices, Ron Bunch Law Office, the Texas Theater, Salon Friends, Junk for Joy, Vintage Touch and More, the Crafty Scrapper, Paris Market, Farm Luck Soda Fountain, Bistro 115, Art On the Square, YaYa Foot Spa, Eubanks Florist and the Mix.

The city and the WDMA hired Specialized Landscape services to hang the Christmas lights from the courtyard businesses. Owner Clyde Griffith said they worked all Monday afternoon hanging up the Christmas lights.

The previous lights that were there, he said, were in less than satisfactory condition.

“The wires were bare, brittle and everything,” Griffith said. “What they’ve done in the past is they’d pay someone to throw them up, and they’re done. Then they’d leave them up there for the rest of the year.”

To make sure these lights stay in usable condition, Griffith said they would remove the lights after New Year’s Day.

Crafty Scrapper owner Carolyn Ross said she is happy to see the downtown businesses come together to work on the rooftop lighting, and she hopes their collaboration will continue to grow.

“In the last 10 years, I’ve never seen us come together like we have,” Ross said. “It’s amazing to see it. You don’t get that in Dallas. We have something that other towns don’t have.”

Chapman said she was proud to bring this tradition back to Waxahachie and hopes to expand it further downtown next year.

“Many small towns across Texas have their downtowns lit up during the holidays,” she said. “I was very proud to get them looking their holiday best. This is exactly what we needed to show it off for Christmas.”