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Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov [RM]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Dec. 4, 2012

‘Tis the Season to Start a New Family Tradition – Holiday Gatherings in Texas State Parks

AUSTIN – Why not reserve a group facility at one of 70 state parks and spend several days establishing a new holiday tradition in the great outdoors? Serve turkey and all the trimmings in a recreation hall that comes with a full kitchen or gather before a roaring fireplace in an open-air pavilion to sing carols and rejoice in the season.

To book a cabin, lodge or other group facility, call (512) 389-8900. For same-day reservations, contact the park directly.

Park guests may wish to schedule their visits to coincide with a host of special holiday events  being held at more than 30 state parks and historic sites — from the Big Bend to the Rio Grande Valley. Enjoy caroling through an early Texas farmstead at Cedar Hill State Park; join in a Mexican posada at Fort Leaton Historic Site in Presidio; learn how to make Christmas ornaments and birdhouses at Lockhart State Park; or eat breakfast with Santa and the birds at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco.

Get in the Texas Hill Country holiday spirit by attending the 43rd annual LBJ Tree Lighting at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, which takes on added significance this year with the celebration of Lady Bird’s 100th birthday. The event, which includes music, a live nativity, a visit by Santa and the tree-lighting, will be held at 6 p.m., Dec. 16.

The Lone Star State’s multicultural roots will be honored at several Texas state parks this holiday season. Learn how to make buñuelos, a tasty cinnamon Mexican pastry, at Estero Llano Grande State Park or immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the holiday season inside an old Spanish mission chapel at Goliad State Park.  For a taste of a traditional German-Texas celebration, visit Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site in La Grange, where a trail illuminated with thousands of lights leads to the historic H. L. Kreische Home, and holiday refreshments are served.

Incorporate an outdoor experience into your holiday plans by checking out decorated campsites at Atlanta, Fairfield Lake, Lake Bob Sandlin, Lake Tawakoni, Purtis Creek and Tyler state parks in East Texas or by making a bird house at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose or fruit wreath for our feathered friends at Sheldon Lake State Park near Houston.

Out west in El Paso, you can soar above all the holiday frenzy by taking a ride in a Swiss-made gondola to the top of Ranger Peak in the Franklin Mountains to meet Santa Claus who will pose for photos with the kiddies at Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park.

For video of LBJ State Park Christmas, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9PjqI1KwJg

For news images of Family Gatherings and Texas State Park holiday events, visit:  http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=oam_family_holiday_gatherings

For hi-resolution B-roll video of group gatherings in Texas State Parks, visit:http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/files/video

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