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Icy slide highlights Christmas at Courthouse celebration in Longview

By Richard Yeakley
Dec. 7, 2012 at 11 p.m.

The ice mountain nestled between the Gregg County Courthouse and Fredonia Street is set to entertain Christmas at the Courthouse goers all four nights of the events.

Christmas at the Courthouse, a collaborative effort of Gregg County, the City of Longview, the Longview Chamber of Commerce and others began its two weekend run Friday, flush with activities including the ever popular snow hill.

"We like to provide a service to our community," Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano said. "This is a great opportunity for people to come to the courthouse, to get acquainted with it, and to get people downtown."

The hill is constructed by the Gregg Industrial Insulation and was originally donated by a prominent Longview family, Cerliano said.

The county buys the ice to construct and maintain the hill, but the food supplier for the county "provided a refrigerated trailer to keep the ice cold until it was used for the hill.

"This is a great combined effort... to get people in to downtown Longview," Cerliano said. "Tonight it was in conjunction with many other events in downtown Longview, including ArtWalk, and the museum will be open with the Christmas train display."

Christmas at the Courthouse began Friday and will continue tonight and Dec. 14 and 15.

In addition to the snow hill, the event includes Santa and Mrs. Claus, arts and crafts, a movie, train rides, wagon rides, inflatable bounce houses, and refreshments.

For the first time, the county is providing free hot dogs to attendees.

Organizers waited longer this year, about 4:30 p.m., to begin blowing snow for the hill due to the relatively warm weather, and children began their decent on inflatable innertubes about 6 p.m.



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