Sandy Springs’ new holiday event, featuring decorated miniature houses amid festive lights, drew a crowd of around 150 to its Dec. 3 kickoff.

Sparkle Sandy Springs, intended as an annual event, continues all month at Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110 Blue Stone Road. The display includes 10 wooden houses decorated by local artists, organizations and businesses, as well as a holiday tree and other lighting. A couple of the houses have a traditional gingbread theme, while others feature flowers, snowflakes, a pink bulldog, the city’s turtle mascot and even the logo of Mercedes-Benz, whose North American headquarters is moving to town. The houses are arranged on the terraced Entertainment Lawn at Heritage, where admission is free and visitors can walk among the artworks.

The opening event, held at dusk on Dec. 3, included music by local student musicians, food trucks and free Christmas tree ornaments bearing the event’s logo. Mayor Rusty Paul welcomed the crowd to the city’s “spin on gingerbread houses.”

Paul said in an interview that the city’s founding mayor, the late Eva Galambos, always wanted to establish a signature holiday event. In fact, “Sparkle Sandy Springs” was originally the name for a now-defunct shop window decorating contest the city ran several years ago. The new event was arranged by Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism, the city’s tourism agency.

“I’m glad we’re able to finally get it done,” Paul said of the holiday event, adding that it has the potential to “grow over time,” such as adding music every weekend of the display in future versions.

When the display is over, the houses will be taken by the artists or by people on a list maintained by the tourism agency, or will have the materials recycled by a carpenter, according to Hospitality & Tourism Executive Director Jennifer Cruce.

For more information, see the Hospitality & Tourism website here.