Johnson City trees light up the night at Christmastime


I’ve driven west through Johnson City, about 45 miles from Austin in the Texas Hill Country, many times on the way to Fredericksburg and parts further west. But not until last night had I strolled around the town that’s best known as the home of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird. We made the after-hours drive to view the Christmas lights that Johnson City is famed for, and they did not disappoint.


Dubbed Lights Spectacular, the town’s holiday display blazes brightest at the Pedernales Electric Coop’s Headquarters on Ave F, where 50 to 60 live oaks, still canopied with their evergreen leaves, are illuminated with more than a million bulbs.


The effect is simply magical.


Children ran and played in the golden glow, families posed for photos, and carolers sang to the accompaniment of a guitarist in a Santa hat. It felt like something out of It’s a Wonderful Life.


Strings of white Christmas lights covered seemingly every inch of the live oak trunks and their writhing limbs. Strings of larger bulbs, cast net-like across the green canopies, added a starry glow above.


I walked around the coop building and saw that every tree was lit up, from root to crown. Visitors in horse-drawn buggies also circled the building, many singing carols and calling out Merry Christmas! to those they passed.


If you haven’t seen it, you should go, for the warm glow of a small town celebrating the season as much as for the glow of the lights. The lights will stay on until January 1, according to the Johnson City website.


While you’re there, walk a few blocks over and visit the town square, which is anchored by the Blanco County Courthouse and surrounded by a picturesque assortment of shops, all lit up for the season as well.

Merry Christmas, y’all! I wish you all a happy, happy holiday season, and I look forward to a new gardening year with you in 2013!

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

10 Responses

  1. Shirley says:

    Gorgeous! The trees, the courthouse all look so beautiful.

    That must be amazing to walk through the trees and see the strings of lights draping the front of the building.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. David says:

    Hi Pam,
    I could only imagine if they were to get a rare snowfall during this show! Wowza!
    Hey, have a very Merry Christmas and thanks for another dazzling year of garden posts on Digging.
    I’m already asking Santa for a copy of your book for next Christmas. I’m so excited for you!!!
    David/:0)

  3. rebecca says:

    Wow! And your pictures captured it SO well. I can’t imagine the hours of labor invested in the set up and take down!

  4. Felicia says:

    Beautiful. Merry Christmas!

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Amazing light show Pam. It must have been truly awesome to walk through those trees. Congratulations on the publication of your book; I’m looking forward to reading it!

  6. Merry Christmas Penicks! :) What incredible lights – I am so thankful you posted this. We will take my parents here as they are in town from Canada – it’ll knock their socks off! Thank you!

  7. Les says:

    Those trees are spectacular, I’d leave them up year-round. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas, and I wish you all a happy new year.

  8. Marcia says:

    An amazing light show! If we are ever able to go to Johnson City, we’ll be sure to go when the lights are up! Thank you!

  9. Charlie says:

    Truly amazing. I enjoyed the walk among the lights. Thank you for a wonderful post. Have a great New Year.

  10. Pam, we took my folks on Dec 30th and it was sooooooo worth the trip from San Antone. Thanks so much, we got great family pictures, and I think we will make it an annual family picture thang. MAGICAL! Thanks again for letting us all know!