Cinemark Theater

A couple walks into Cinemark Theater in Harker Heights on New Year’s Day.

Harker Heights residents began the new year festively and casually.

At Busters Sports and Karaoke Bar on West Veterans Memorial Boulevard, a mix of regular and new faces rang in 2013 at the stroke of midnight with music, cheers and tacos, said Katie White, a bartender.

“We were really busy,” she said. “We had our DJ. We had our free breakfast tacos at 1 (a.m.)” and free party favors like hats and noisemakers.

But once the night owls went to bed, things quieted down in Harker Heights and remained so for pretty much all of New Year’s Day.

Eddie Abercrombie said he spent the day “just relaxing, just chillin’.”

By noon, he had already finished his New Year’s Day meal of turkey, black-eyed peas, cabbage and cornbread, and was heading into Cinemark Theater in Harker Heights to watch “Django Unchained.”

For Abercrombie, that’s exactly how he wanted to start the year.

“Trying to bring it in right,” he said.

Heights couple David and Kayla McCormick, along with their 2-year-old son, Sam, went shopping at Target on New Year’s Day, but didn’t really have any other plans.

They did go out on New Year’s Eve.

“We had dinner with our neighbors — nothing crazy,” David McCormick said, adding his family was back home asleep by midnight.

James Grant, a sergeant first class in the Army, visited family members near Houston during the holidays, but drove back to the Harker Heights area on New Year’s Eve.

“Today, I’ve got the day off. Tomorrow, I’ve got to work,” Grant said Tuesday.

He used the New Year’s Day holiday to buy a new cellphone charger to replace the one he left at his mother’s house.

While shopping centers and the movie theater were seeing their share of business, most of Harker Heights was slow-paced on New Year’s Day.

Government offices and many businesses were closed. Harker Heights Community Park was open but vacant in the early afternoon, perhaps because temperatures hovered in the 40s. Traffic was calm compared to the usual hustle and bustle.

Businesses that were open were not overly busy.

At Today’s Car Wash, on Knight’s Way, fewer than 10 cars had gone through by 1 p.m.

At Market Heights, most of the workout machines at Illuminate Gym stood empty despite health resolutions people may have made for the new year.

“Typically, membership goes up about 30 percent at the start of the year,” said Lee Maupin, the gym’s owner.

However, he said he is not surprised to see few people at the gym Tuesday. Gyms are not busy on holidays, especially the day after New Year’s Eve.

“They’re all still recovering,” Maupin said.

Contact Jacob Brooks at or (254) 501-7468

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