It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Central Texas. Several upcoming events in Harker Heights and Nolanville are bound to spread holiday cheer and get residents in the holiday spirit.

Lighting contests

Residents and business owners are encouraged to deck their halls with lights and holiday swag for the 14th annual Heights Parade of Lights contest.

The free competition, sponsored by the city, is divided into four divisions with prizes awarded in each.

Heather Cox, activities coordinator, said all entries will be judged on the “Ahh” factor, number of and placement of lights, color and attractiveness, overall theme and total effort involved.

New to the contest this year is the People’s Choice award. Nichole Broemer, recreation and events coordinator, said residents can go to the Parks and Recreation Department’s website for a list of the entries’ addresses and drive around to judge their favorite houses. Then they can return to the website to vote Dec. 9-11.

Division I is for apartments, townhouses and duplexes, and Division II is for manufactured homes. Division III includes single-family homes and is divided into six areas within Harker Heights. Division IV is for businesses.

“Participants are asked to have their lights on by 5:30 p.m. each night,” Broemer said, adding winners will be contacted by phone and prizes will be available for pick up at the Recreation Center.

First-place winners receive an ornament, gift card, Frost Fest T-shirt and a sign to place in their yards. Second-place winners receive an ornament and Frost Fest T-shirt, Cox said.

Residents and business owners can register for the contest through 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Recreation Center, 307 Miller’s Crossing. Judging will take place citywide starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 9.

Light up Nolanville

Nolanville residents can also get in the spirit. An award will be given to the three most festive homes. Judging will take place Dec. 12 and winners will be recognized at the City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 19. Call City Hall at 254-698-6335.

The second annual Central Texas First Responders Holiday Parade will roll through the Nolanville at 1 p.m. Dec. 7. The parade will start on Avenue G and make its way down Avenue H toward 10th Street ending at 1200 N. Main St. Call the Nolanville Police Department at 254-698-6334.

Holiday Farmers Market

Harker Heights will hosts its third annual Holiday Farmers Market from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Harker Heights Community Park, 1501 E. Farm-to-Market 2410.

Cox said all the products locally grown and hand crafted.

“The Holiday Farmers Market is the perfect opportunity to buy those unique Texas gifts to send to friends and family out of state. Local vendors get the chance to showcase their skills and talents,” Cox said.

Cash is the preferred form of payment. Go to or call 254-953-5493.

Frost Fest

Santa Claus is scheduled to make a special appearance at the 10th annual Frost Fest celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Harker Heights Community Park, 1501 E. FM 2410.

New this year is a gingerbread house contest. To be eligible, Cox said builders need to fill out a registration form at the Activities Center or Parks and Recreation Department by Wednesday. Completed houses ready for judging need to be dropped off at the Frost Fest between 3 and 5:30 p.m.

Cox said the overall winner will receive a $100 cash prize donated by the Junior Service League of Killeen and Santa’s Choice will receive a gift basket.

For more information on the contest, call Sarah Mylcraine, activities specialist, at 254-953-5466 or email

Santa will be available for photos, so families are encouraged to bring cameras, Cox said.

Other free activities at Frost Fest include a petting zoo and a super slide. Holiday revelers also can enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies.

The Junior Service League of Killeen will sell Breakfast with Santa tickets for $4. The breakfast will be from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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