By The Herald Staff

The city of Killeen and the Celebrate Killeen Committee will kick off the holiday season next week with the annual Holiday Under the Stars event at the Killeen Community Center, 2201 East Veterans Memorial Boulevard. The public is encouraged to join the fun.

The two-day event begins at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 with the lighting of the silhouette Christmas tree.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas will play on the amphitheatre movie screen at 6 p.m.

Activities throughout the evening will include the city's synthetic ice skating rink, pictures with Santa, a children's fun land, hayrides on the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail, arts and crafts, food and more.

A new attraction this year is the Wintry Wonderland with 5,000 gallons of snow in which children of all ages can play.

The event will continue Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Activities will include ice skating, hayrides, children's fun land, arts and crafts and food. It will conclude with a 6 p.m. showing of "Fred Claus" in the amphitheatre.

Last year, more than 2,000 residents gathered for the annual yuletide season kickoff that featured the newly unveiled synthetic ice skating rink.

Melissa Myers, 36, of Killeen, is originally from Florida. She attended the event last year and said she had never ice skated before.

"That's why I was so happy to see it," Myers said at last year's event. "One time around and I'm good," she added. She said she was glad to see the city get a recreation opportunity like that.

Killeen Councilman Juan Rivera threw his arms up in the air last year as he completed his second lap on the synthetic ice.

He was not on the council when it decided to buy the $90,305, 4,800-square-foot portable skating rink, but said it's a good investment for the quality of life in the city.

For more information on this or other holiday events, contact Killeen Parks & Recreation at (254) 501-8889.

If you go

Holiday Under the stars

Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m. Christmas tree lighting

Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Killeen Community Center

2201 East Veterans Memorial Boulevard

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