Nacogdoches, known as the oldest town in Texas, has a long and storied history to celebrate. Caddo tribes had long lived in the area before Spain founded a settlement in 1779. Nine flags have flown here—three more than the Spanish, French, Mexican, Texan, Confederate and U.S. flags that have flown over most of Texas—because of localized attempts to rebel from Spanish and Mexican rule.

In recent years, Nacogdoches has combined a celebration of its history with the holiday season during the monthlong Nine Flags Christmas Festival. This year’s 19th-annual event began last week with the East Texas Half Marathon and various events to encourage shopping at booths and local boutiques.  Wassail Fest on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, offers visitors samples of spiced wine as they stroll downtown listening to music and shopping from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

In December, families can enjoy the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned country Christmas with children’s activities at Millard’s Crossing Historic Village on Dec. 4, and the big lighted parade and fireworks the next evening in downtown. Festivities wrap up Dec. 12 with the afternoon Tour of Homes, which highlights six houses of historical and architectural interest that are beautifully decorated for the season.

Some events during the festival require tickets, so be sure to check for more information. For more ideas for fun holiday outings this weekend and through the season, check out our event listings.

Get more Texas in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletters and never miss a moment of what’s happening around the state.