GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Some of you may be finishing off the last of that leftover turkey and you know what that means: It’s time to take in some Christmas lights. And one of the best places around to do that is just north of Longview at Carmela’s Mini Santa Land.
Although there’s not that much “mini” about it.
Most nights Carmela Davis doesn’t go right home after work. She’s got to make sure everyone has plenty of Christmas spirit which is pretty much powering her light show.
For Chase Burkett and his family, it’s becoming tradition.
“We’ve come out here just about every year they’ve been open out here after Thanksgiving. Just something the kids love a lot and something to do with the family,” Chase said.
And hundreds of people take in the lights every night. Like State Representative Jay Dean who’s visiting with Carmela’s husband Mark Adkisson near the Santa stop. Carmela and Mark have been at it:
“Sixteen eighteen years and growing. Started at the house and ended up moving it out here,” Mark stated.
They wanted to avoid the traffic jams on neighborhood streets.
“There’s 30 acres here we’ve got about 15 decorated with room to grow. She’s always wanting to do more,” Mark revealed.
She being Carmela, of course. And Jay Dean brought friends from Dallas to see the display.
“It’s just an incredible event, an incredible attraction for our community and the amount of tax dollars that come in to our community because of this; I’m really hopeful that we can get some of our local businesses, and maybe even cities and counties locally to consider grants, etcetera for this,” Jay said.
It brings a lot of smiles to a lot of faces. But when does it come down
“Start sometime in January. It all come down,” Mark said.
And when does it go back up?
“She starts in June,” Mark said.
She being Carmela, of course. The attraction is pretty obvious though. Who needs snow with all this around? And it’s not just beautiful. It’s inspirational.
Does Chase get any ideas when he comes out here?
“Kind of, yeah. That’s what we were just talking about on the ride in I said we could put lights around our tree and make it look like water,” Chase replied.
Carmela’s Mini Santa Land open nightly at 5:30 and closes at 11. It’s free, but they do take donations to defer the electric bill. And here’s a little tip: They say they’re not as busy on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. You can visit their Facebook page for more details here, or call 903-753-3329.