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Galveston is the "Winter Wonder Island" of Texas and this season the island will offer visitors a more than 1,000 magical holiday events, including a new ice sculpture exhibit featuring nearly 2 million pounds of ice.

In addition, visitors to Galveston can experience the largest holiday lighting festival along the Gulf Coast, ice skating, snow tubing, Victorian Christmas celebrations and more.

Here's a preview of what to expect in Galveston this holiday season:

Holiday Lighting Celebration
November 28, 2014
Performances from The Nutcracker, handbells, bagpipes and Christmas carols will entertain guests at the Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, on Friday, Nov. 28. This free family event begins at 6 p.m. and marks the start of the holiday season in Galveston.

Holiday Half Marathon
November 23, 2014
Outloud! Productions announces the inaugural Holiday Half Marathon at Moody Gardens scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. at beautiful Moody Gardens property and Scholes International Airport. Also partnering with the event is R2R (Reason to Race) which encourages athletes to race for a charity of their choice. Details here.

Shopping in the Historic Downtown Strand Seaport
Downtown Galveston has all the charm of a traditional holiday destination while offering the benefits of tropical weather and outdoor shopping. This 36-block district boasts beautiful Victorian ironfront buildings filled with boutique shops, antique stores, unique art galleries, and some of the finest cuisine on the island.

Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
November 15, 2014– January 3, 2015
Moody Gardens lights up the season in Galveston with its annual Festival of Lights - the largest holiday lighting celebration on the Gulf Coast. This magical festival includes a milelong trail of sparking lights and light displays synchronized to music, carolers, hot chocolate stations, ice skating and other holiday activities wrapped around the breathtaking Moody Gardens pyramids. For details, visit www.moodygardens.org.

Ice Sculptures
November 15, 2014– January 4, 2015
The coolest new experience on the gulf coast will feature 20 large ice sculptures. A skilled team of professional ice carvers will take 6,000 300 pound ice blocks and transform them into majestic displays ranging from holiday-themed sculptures to undersea characters from SpongeBob SquarePants. Chilled and held at a temperature of 15 degrees, you can witness these works of art as Galveston makes its holiday transformation into a Winter Wonder Island. For details, visit www.moodygardens.org.

Holiday Performances at The Grand
Throughout November & December
The Grand 1894 Opera House presents a holiday season filled with live entertainment - Broadway musicals, iconic stars, comedy and lots of music will ring in the season! For details, visit www.thegrand.com.

Dickens on the Strand
December 5, 6, & 7, 2014
The 41st Anniversary of Dickens on The Strand takes visitors on an enchanted journey through history with an exciting festival that transforms Galveston's historic Strand into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens. Characters from Dickens' novels walk the streets while live entertainment, food and vendors fill the area with sights and smells from another era. As a special treat, the event features an appearance from real descendants of Charles Dickens! For details, visit www.galvestonhistory.org.

Santa Hustle
December 20, 2014
Runners have a "jolly good time" in Galveston for the annual Santa Hustle! At this event, half marathon and 5K runners compete in Santa suits and beards in a race that takes them along the island's gorgeous Gulf waters and historic downtown streets. Along the route, participants can stop at cookie and candy stations while enjoying holiday music.

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