By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

It’s officially Christmas in Copperas Cove.

Dozens of the city’s youngest residents endured 46-degree temperatures to see Santa Claus and the giant Christmas tree at the city’s library for the annual tree lighting ceremony to kick-off the holiday season.

With many of the attendees taking part in the festivities for the first time, they tolerated the weather so their kids can personally ask Santa for some of the items on their Christmas lists.

Prior to the official lighting of the Christmas tree, attendees enjoyed the sounds of Christmas carols sung by Copperas Cove High School’s swing choir, who were decked out in Santa hats. They were under the direction of Brandon Blaylock.

The choir was a new addition to this year’s ceremony, in addition to new ornaments.

Annabelle Smith along with all in attendance shouted, “Light that tree,” as the lights began to illuminate on the large tree.

Lavera Miller brought her kids to the event to see Santa Claus. Her two older daughters have already seen Santa, so it was more for the younger ones.

One of Miller’s older daughters Tatiana wants a cell phone and a Nintendo DS for Christmas. The color of her DS does not matter; she said she’s happy with whichever he gives her. Miller’s son, Trevon, just wants a monster truck. Her oldest daughter Trinitee wants an XBox and her youngest daughter wants Dora the Explorer.

Alastair Robinson said he wanted a Nintendo DS also, with the Mario Kart game.

Samantha Schoeffler brought her daughter Paige, 6, to see Santa. Paige just wanted to ask Santa for a Barbie doll. “That’s all she wants to ask him for, we know what else she wants,” Schoeffler said.

Bill Harp brought his two sons, Shaylin and Jayden, to the ceremony for the first time. “I wanted them to come out, this is the first day of the 25 days of Christmas, so we’re trying a little bit of Christmas everyday,” Harp said.

“I want a PSP,” Shaylin exclaimed.

The most requested gift among boys and girls in attendance were video game systems.

Santa pulled up with flashing lights on a fire truck as the crowd swarmed towards him.

The city put on the annual ceremony with the help of all of its departments.

“We made the hot chocolate and Kellie Sames got the cookies,” Director of Community Services, Ken Wilson, said.

City manager Andrea Gardner said the great teamwork of all the departments makes her job easier.

“This is the official kick-off for the city,” Gardner said.

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