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Les Cockrell: Holiday programs at county museums announced

The Denton County Office of History and Culture has announced holiday programs including a Santa collection on display at Denton’s Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum and seasonal music at both the Bayless-Selby House Museum and African American Museum.

Kay Copeland’s Santa Collection, installed by Darien Orr, will be on display during the holiday season, according to a press release from the county. The collection had its start over 50 years ago and has grown through the years with purchases from Christmas stores, antique shops, church and school bazaars and other sources.

Also currently on view at the museum is an exhibit titled “Big Wheels Turnin’: The Evolution of Transportation in Denton County.”

Holiday music will be offered at the African American Museum and the Bayless-Selby House Museum during the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday.

The American Legion Senior Center Choir will be featured from 6 to 7:50 p.m. at the African American Museum.

Scheduled performances at the Bayless-Selby House are: 5:30 to 5:50 p.m., First Denton Praise & Worship Team; 6 to 6:20 p.m., Larry’s Angels; 6:30 to 6:50 p.m., Sing Texas!; 7 to 7:20 p.m., Bonduris Music Student Bands; and 7:30 to 7:50 p.m., Sing Texas!

Students from the Sing Texas! troupe will perform popular holiday songs in several rooms of the Bayless-Selby House Museum as guests tour the facility. The group is made up of 24 singers who live in Denton County.

The Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum is located at 110 W. Hickory St., and the Bayless-Selby House and African American museums are located in the Historical Park of Denton County at 317 W. Mulberry St.


Lake Dallas Middle School student named poster contest winner

Riley Craig, a sixth-grade student at Lake Dallas Middle School, was recently named winner of the 2013 Lake Cities Lions Club Peace Poster contest.

The theme of the contest was “Our World, Our Future.”

Each year, Lions clubs around the world sponsor the contest for students ages 11 to 13, and in the past 25 years, more than 8 million children from nearly 100 countries have participated, according to a press release from the Lions Club.

“I am excited to have this opportunity for students in our school district to compete in this contest,” Deanna Smith, art teacher at Lake Dallas Middle School, stated in the press release. “It pushes them to think beyond their comfort zone sometimes. A lot of their artwork relates to and revolves around their immediate interests.”

Riley’s poster was selected for its originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest, the press release stated.

“Our club is cheering for Riley as her poster advances in the competition, and we hope that her vision will ultimately be shared with others around the world,” David Gilmore, club president, stated.

Riley is the daughter of Jon and Colleen Craig of Corinth.

To learn more about the Lake Cities Lions Club, including donating used eyeglasses, visit  

Sunset hike and ‘Wild Christmas’ program planned at state park

A sunset hike and a holiday-themed program will highlight activities at the Johnson Branch Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park this weekend.

The hike will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Pavilion 1 and will cover half a mile along a concrete trail. Participants are advised to wear sturdy shoes and bring water and a flashlight.

Staff members will host a program titled “Dreaming of a Wild Christmas” from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the park amphitheater. Participants will learn about old-fashioned campfire cooking techniques and sample a dessert prepared in a Dutch oven. There also will be hot chocolate and a traditional Christmas craft.

Park admission is $7 for those 13 and older. For more information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2294.


Retired School Personnel to hold Christmas luncheon

Members of the Denton Area Retired School Personnel Association will have their Christmas luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, 1500 Long Road.

Lunch will be catered by Extreme Cuisine, and cost is $12 at the door, according to an event announcement.

Music will be provided by Becky Nunez, and donations will be collected for the Denton Community Food Center.


Grande Communications in Lewisville serves as drop-off

Grande Communications’ retail store in Lewisville will be accepting donations for the Fox 4 Toys for Tots drive through Dec. 11, according to a press release.

The broadband communications company is partnering with the Allen Event Center to collect toys leading up to the drive, which will be held Dec. 12. Donations brought to the Lewisville store will be delivered to the Allen Event Center.

The retail store is located at 500 Tittle Road, Suite 400 in Lewisville. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information about the Fox 4 Toys For Tots Donation Drive at the Allen Event Center, visit

Visit Grande Communications’ Facebook page at  for more information about the Lewisville toy drop-off.


Annual holiday open house to be held in Denton

Area residents are invited to attend an annual holiday open house sponsored by Frenchy’s Lawn & Tree and John Baines, CPA, on Tuesday, according to an event announcement.

The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at 600 S. Elm St. in Denton. For more information, call 940-390-3182 or e-mail


Residents 18 and older needed to give opinions

Denton residents age 18 and older who have opinions or ideas about the city’s future over the next five to 10 years and are interested in recreation opportunities are invited to participate in a forum from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday in Room 115 of the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St.

The forum is part of a state assessment to determine what extent Denton residents feel their community is aging-friendly and to develop an action plan to maintain and/or increase that aging-friendliness, according to an event announcement.

Additional forums will be held on topics including residential needs, transportation, health and community support and services, although no dates have been set.

Coffee and snacks will be served. For more information, call Julia Wolfe at 309-531-3171.

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is