Several hundred thousand people are expected to visit Frisco Square through Jan. 3 for Christmas in the Square. The holiday festivities are a joint venture between the city of Frisco and Frisco Square Property Owners Association and began Nov. 27.
Here is a list of 10 activities visitors can enjoy at Frisco Square:
1. Skate the Square - through Jan. 3
Skate the Square in a real, 44 foot-by-66 foot ice skating rink. Hours of operation are 4-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and noon-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun. The rink is closed on Dec. 25 and during inclement weather. Cost is $10 per person including skates.
2. Inner-tubing snow slide - Dec. 19
Visitors can slide in inner tubes down one of four 100-foot snow slides. The snow is made of ice sent through a snow machine then blown onto the slide. The snow slide is from 5-10 p.m. Dec. 19 only. There is no cost to ride the slide.
3. Visit with Santa - Dec. 19
Santa Claus visits are held in the vacant retail space between POParella’s and barre3 on Coleman Boulevard. Visits are free, and families are welcome to take their own photos. Santa will be in Frisco from 5-10 p.m. Dec. 19.
4. Food trucks - Dec. 19
Food trucks offering holiday treats set up in Frisco Square for one day only. Vendor offerings range from funnel cakes, to cheese steaks. Additional selections include chicken wings, french fries, fried pickles and drinks. The trucks will be in operation from 5-10 p.m. on Dec. 19. Food item prices vary.
5. Carriage rides - through Jan. 3
Take an open air, horse-drawn carriage ride around Frisco Square. Rides are offered Thu.-Sun. from 6-10 p.m., except for Christmas Day. Cost is $6 per person.
6. Trackless train rides - Dec. 12 & 19
Take a ride in a trackless train around Simpson Plaza in Frisco Square. Train rides take place on only two days: 6-10 p.m. Dec. 12 and 5-10 p.m. Dec. 19. Cost is $3 per person.
7. Petting zoo and tree lot - through Dec. 23
New to Christmas in the Square this year is a petting zoo next to the Boy Scout Troop 51 Christmas tree lot. Children can visit a variety of furry animals or take a pony ride at the petting zoo. The petting zoo is open 5-9 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. and noon-8 p.m. Sun. On Dec. 23, special hours are noon-9 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Fresh-cut trees are available on the tree lot. Proceeds benefit the troop’s summer camp and equipment costs.
8. Snow flurries - through Jan. 2
Six snow machines on both sides of Coleman Boulevard blow a “snow” bubble mixture approximately every 15 minutes on Friday and Saturday. The snow flurries are created by the same machines used by Disney. Snow flurries are free to view.
9. Parachuting Santa - Dec. 19
Watch Santa Claus parachute into Frisco Square. This one-time event takes place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19. There is no cost to watch Santa parachute jump.
10. Light & music show - through Jan. 2
A light and music show is the main attraction of Christmas in the Square. The lights are choreographed to music played on 107.3 FM. Nightly from 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 2.
A light and music show is the main attraction of Christmas in the Square. The lights are choreographed to music played on 107.3 FM. Nightly from 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 2.[/caption]
The story behind the lights
In 2004 Frisco resident Jeff Trykoski said he wanted to do something different with his Christmas lights at his home in east Frisco. So instead of stationary Christmas lights, he decided to make them dance.
Trykoski went online, taught himself animated lighting and organized his first animated light show choreographed to Christmas music. Trykoski filmed the entire show, uploaded it online and, soon after, it became a viral hit.
“[The video] had several million hits and people from all over came to see the house,” Trykoski said.
Trykoski said he has had a fascination with Christmas lights since he was a boy, and he wanted to create his own tradition when he bought his house.
“When I was a kid, we always put up lights at my parent’s house and it became a fun thing to do every year. Then it became a tradition when I bought my house and it just grew from there,” Trykoski said.
Jeff Trykoski has been designing the light show at Frisco Square for 10 years.[/caption]
Because of all the attention his house received, Trykoski said Mayor Maher Maso, former mayor Mike Simpson and the Frisco Square Property Owners Association paid him a visit in 2006.
“They told me my house brought in a lot of traffic and they would like to replicate that [in] downtown Frisco,” Trykoski said.
Trykoski agreed to replicate the light show in downtown Frisco and he said it was his first big undertaking. Nearly 10 years later, he is still putting on the light show that has now attracted thousands of people to downtown Frisco for the holidays.
Trykoski designs and choreographs the show and deals with all the behind-the-scenes technology. He works closely with the light installation team.
The planning of the show takes almost a year, Trykoski said. The planning process begins in February, and the light installation team begins hanging lights toward the end of September.
He said the music changes every year and as Frisco grows, so does the light design.
Trykoski said the importance of the light show is to create memories that will last a lifetime.
“[The lights} are something positive to look at during Christmas. It gives people a few minutes away from their busy days or the commercialization of the season to enjoy something that will get them in the Christmas spirit.”
Regional Lights Guide
The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex boasts many holiday light tours throughout the month of December. Our list highlights a few area options.