Grand Ol' Christmas Show

Greg Essington performs during the Grand Ol' Christmas Show, which returns to Brazosport for a series of performances starting Dec. 21.

LAKE JACKSON — Christmas is on its way, which means ’tis the season for togetherness, generosity and holiday cheer. Experience all three at the “Grand Ol’ Christmas Show,” which offers a chance to gather as a community, support a local charity organization, and get into the spirit of the holidays.

Created by Will Hearn and Greg Essington in 2003 while they attended Brazoswood High School, with friend Zack Kibodeaux coming aboard a year later, the “Grand Ol’ Christmas Show” is a live musical variety show presented in the framework of a 1940s radio broadcast. Essington and Kibodeaux went on to form local favorite band Blue Water Highway, which will be one of the featured performers again this year. A new featured performer will be Robert Ellis, another Brazoria County native often billed as “the Texas Piano Man.”

The “Grand Ol’ Christmas Show” spent the first half of December touring the state, and for his part, Ellis has enjoyed being a part of the performances.

“By the time we get to Lake Jackson we’ll be very warmed up,” he said with a laugh.

The show also has functioned as a reunion of sorts for Ellis, who attended Brazoswood with Hearn, Essington and Kibodeaux.

“It’s been really special and fun to play music with them again,” he said.

The Grand Ol’ Christmas Show includes American Christmas pop culture movie references that people can connect to as well as satire and comedy, he said.

“The underlying theme is something we call progressive nostalgia,” he said. “It’s nostalgic and it’s also modern, so it’s something for everybody.”

In its early years, performances were at the Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences, but this year’s production will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday back at The Clarion at Brazosport College.

The Center has been a wonderful supporter and venue host for the Grand Ol’ Christmas Show for years, Hearn said, “but we’ve just grown so much that we had to find a bigger space that could accommodate that growth.”

The event is being presented in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Southern Brazoria County, and a portion of event proceeds will go to benefit the organization.

“This is the second year that we’ve worked with the Grand Ol’ Christmas Show,” said Dave Edgington, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Southern Brazoria County. “They wanted to support us again this year.”

With the Walk for Habitat having ended last year, this will be Habitat’s major fundraiser for 2019, Edgington said. The hope is to raise enough money to sponsor a house, which costs about $40,000 to build, he said.

The presenting sponsor is BASF, and sponsorships are still available, Hearn said. Sponsorship tickets include dinner and complimentary drinks at the sponsor reception at 6 p.m. each night, also at the Clarion.

Hearn hopes people leave the performance with a sense of joy, he said.

“We work all year to craft something extremely unique and enjoyable and meaningful,” Hearn said. “I want them to feel like it’s Christmas, but to feel like they’ve gone to see some entertainment that doesn’t take Christmas entertainment for granted.”

Tickets are still available and range from $25 to $45. VIP/Sponsor tickets cost $125 and are in the mezzanine level. For information or to purchase tickets, call the Clarion box office at 979-230-3156 or visit

Corinna Richardson is the features writer for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150. ​

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