Cameron Christmas Celebration Heralds New Beginnings

Dec 06, 2022
Ginger Watkins

Thursday, December 1st, 2022, marked the beginning of a vision. The community of Cameron, Milam County as well as neighboring cities gathered in a heart-warming event. Nothing tells the story of the wonder and community better than this video by Jorge Fuentes.

The Vision

The vision is for Cameron to become a Christmas destination. Starting with the Courthouse Square establish a foundation of Christmas light that we can add to each year. Hold a Christmas lighting celebration in conjunction with the annual Christmas parade along with events throughout the holiday season such as smore’s and caroling to create a festive and fun holiday experience for citizens and visitors alike.

The foundation of this effort is lighting up the Square with Christmas lights. Lights include building roofline lights which would remain up year-round; tree lights; new lighted ornaments at gateways and on the Square; lighted decorative wreaths and garland for the Courthouse, and mall; and a featured walk-through ornament.


We often hear comments from visitors about the beautiful Milam County Courthouse and downtown Square. Milam County and Cameron residents should be proud of the County seat.

The Square has long been in productive use. Urban renewal in the 1970’s brought major transformation in the form of the mall area and parking. Later the Courthouse was beautifully and lovingly restored. However, over time we lost the community and social aspect that a downtown and County seat bring to an area. Over time the shopping, dining and entertainment options closed giving way to a larger presence of governmental offices. The good news, the buildings were occupied and in use. The sad news was that the reasons to gather and enjoy community disappeared.


The opportunity to reclaim the Courthouse Square as a place for the citizens of Milam County to gather is here. Reclaiming the Square for citizens also means an economic renaissance – new capital investments, new businesses, and new jobs mean new opportunities for the community and citizens to prosper.

Today, six of the original seven buildings exchanged for the shuttered hospital are under new ownership. The new owners will renovate and reuse buildings for business, retail, dining, entertainment, and even lodging. These new uses are all small businesses. Small businesses thrive together. Experience tells us that while one small business alone may struggle to attract the customers they need to thrive; when many diverse small businesses come together, they all benefit.

In many cases, new capital investment in the Courthouse Square is uncovering the history of Milam County and downtown Cameron. Revealing more of our history adds to the charm of downtown and enriches the experience of visitors to the Milam County Museum and Courthouse.

Today, a wonderful opportunity is before us to bring new events and activities to the Milam County Courthouse Square --events that create a sense of community for citizens as well as offering visitors an opportunity to experience the fun, warmth, and history of rural Texas.

Today and Tomorrow

To secure the future of long-standing, and new businesses that are investing in the County Seat, we need more reasons to visit Cameron. Reasons to visit include existing and future businesses; however, reasons to visit also include events that attract citizens and visitors alike. Event goers come for the experience but also shopping and dining at businesses. Some events are already established such as the “Steak, Stein and Wine” festival in the fall and the Christmas parade in December. Other events such as the Spring Festival, and May Day Picnic are newly launched. To support the capital investments and ensure the longevity of ad valorem increases resulting from new investments, we need more events throughout the year to bring people to the Courthouse Square. New signature events such as “Steak, Stein and Wine” are essential.

The Milam County Courthouse Square is both beautiful and charming, evoking feelings of nostalgia, and family. What other opportunities are there that callup feelings of family and nostalgia? Opportunities that could be a signature event? What time of the year brings families together more than Christmas? The Christmas season evokes feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and calls to families to gather – it is the quintessential opportunity to showcase the Milam County Courthouse Square.

Matching Funds Donation

An anonymous donor offered to match up to $50,000 in donations to purchase, install and remove lights at the end of the season. Many building owners committed to participating in the roofline lights. Not only was the matching fund challenge met, but it was exceeded through generous gifts from individuals and businesses, the City of Cameron and Milam County alike.

The spirit of Christmas is alive and thriving in Cameron in 2022! The Cameron Economic Development Corporation, Cameron Industrial Foundation and Cameron Area Chamber of Commerce wish to express their deepest gratitude to all donors with enduring gratitude to our anonymous donor, the catalyst!

Major Donors

Bob and Dana McClaren
Milam County Commissioners
Mike and Kim McMahon, Railfan on Main
Classic Bank
Buckholts State Bank
Citizen’s National Bank
City of Cameron
EBCO General Contractor
Melanie Romine, Edward Jones
Ideal Poultry
Jim and Pat Camp
Cameron Economic Development Corporation

Participating Businesses

1st Street Aesthetics and Massage
44 Farms
Bailey Financial Solutions
Railfan on Main

  • The Venue by Railfan

  • Cameron Farmers to Market Coffee

  • Railfan on Main (the former City in Miniature)

The Parlour (former AgriLife Extension office)
Buckholts State Bank
Cameron Comprehensive Dentistry
Cameron Area Thrift Shop
Cameron Area Chamber of Commerce
Cameron Beer Market
Cameron City Hall, McLane Municipal Building
Cameron Furniture & Appliance
The Cameron Herald
Classic Bank
Citizens National Bank
Culpepper Building
Ginno's Italian Restaurant
Ideal Poultry
Main Printing
Melanie Romine, Edward Jones Financial Advisor
The former Milam County Clerk’s Building
Milam County Museum
M Watkins Real Estate Group
Peoples Finance
The former Mercantile Bistro Building by Roger Thiltgen
The Shop on Houston
Standards Home Health
Stanislaw & Sons Ranches, LLC