It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and it seems the Rabbit Fest royalty have hopped to every event in the community, adding the sparkle of their crowns to the sparkling lights of the holiday season.

The community titleholders welcomed the hundreds of citizens who came out to witness the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at its new location in City Park. Queens encouraged parents to sign their children up for the unique privilege of turning on the tree’s lights. Young royalty handed out candy canes to excited children as they arrived. Once the evergreen was lit, younger royalty assisted jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas and his elves handing out candy canes to wishful youngsters as they exited his lap.

“Look at this one,” Junior Miss Rabbit Fest Gabi Ortiz said to Wee Little Miss Rabbit Fest Kadence Coombs as she held up a candy cane. “I want to eat this one myself.”

The older queens ran the arts and crafts table helping children create their own personal ornaments to take home to hang on their own trees.

“Oh, it’s beautiful,” Senior Ms. Rabbit Fest Edith Natividad told a child who showed her his masterpiece as she gave him a hug. “It’s going to look great on your tree.”

But the true expressions of gratitude were on the faces of the youngest royalty’s fathers. Walt Banks, father of Baby Miss Rabbit Fest Lily Banks, and Ronnie Parker, Jr., father of Tiny Miss Rabbit Fest Delayna Parker, smiled and laughed with one another as they held their daughters, showing them off in their sparkling tiaras as guests arrived to the tree lighting.

“It’s almost surreal to be sharing my favorite holiday with my baby girl, which is the greatest gift I’ve ever received,” Parker said, beaming at his daughter. “A dad couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Young Miss Rabbit Fest Carleigh Ross took a giant leap toward her goal of raising $15,000 for the American Cancer Society by hosting the Miss KristKindl Pageant, which drew 32 contestants. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the non-profit organization. Raylene Gill captured the crown of Miss KristKindl.

“It meant a lot to my daughter and I to be a part of it, to be crowned and to help support such a worthwhile cause,” Gills aid. “My husband fought cancer last year and it is something extremely important in our eyes. To see such a young girl like Carleigh take on such a huge goal with determination is amazing.”

The royalty also participated in the Cove Christmas Parade and will participate in the Killeen parade Saturday.

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