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Community Caravan heads to Marshall for the Wonderland of Lights - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Community Caravan heads to Marshall for the Wonderland of Lights

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The KTBS 3 Community Caravan was on the move again today. We rolled into Marshall, Texas.

KTBS 3's Rick Rowe, Jan Elkins and Keristen Holmes had lunch at Central Perk where folks from Marshall and surrounding area came out to meet and greet and of course have some of that good food that Central Perk has to offer. It gave us an opportunity to sit back and hear what makes Marshall home for you guys. It's the 27th year for the Wonderland of Lights celebration and we got an exclusive interview with the families of Marshall, Texas who helped bring it all together.

"It was really a dreary time for Marshall and a dreary time in the economy." That's how Steve Carlile described Marshall 27 years ago. George Smith, the local newspaperman at the time agrees. And one day, he had an idea. "I was walking down the square and saw the gloominess of the courthouse and it may sound hokie but I was a hundred thousand lights on the courthouse." And his idea caught on like Christmas magic. Steve Carlile's parents heard the idea and wanted to help make the Christmas miracle happen. So they pitched in but they needed more help to actually put up the lights. So it took the whole town of Marshall to come together. "It was just groups of volunteers that did it from all over the city and all over town." Geraldine Mauthe was one of the volunteers to help decorate for the first wonderland of lights. "Picture the courthouse in tiny white lights and all the trees around the square."

"The first year we had about 50 thousand people show up and we really didn't even know what we had," Smith remembered. Carlile recalls his first time seeing all the Christmas miracle in Marshall as a child, "Wow! I can't believe all these lights and it's just a winter wonderland for children." Smith says it's a reminder to never forget the reason behind it all, "It's not about lights, it's about the spirit of the holiday season."

 

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