Killeen’s annual event to kick off the Christmas season is expected to be the biggest one yet with the addition of carnival rides.

Holiday Under the Stars is slated for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.

Sara Davy, recreation superintendent, said the crowd is expected to be one of the largest with the addition of carnival rides.

She said several favorites will return this year as well, including Santa arriving on a fire truck to light the city’s 50-foot Christmas tree, the fun zone for children with inflatables and face painting.

“It’s a big, exciting event,” she said. “We’ll have all the favorites like the arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and the outdoor movie.”

The outdoor film at this year’s event is “Rise of the Guardian” and will begin at 7 p.m. at the amphitheater.

“Hopefully, the weather will cooperate with us,” Davy said. “Everyone can bring their blankets and chairs, bundle up, and enjoy the movie and free popcorn.”

Davy said the movie will go on, despite the predicted cold temperatures, but in the event of rain it will be canceled.

The Keep Killeen Beautiful Committee also will hand out free hot chocolate.

Following the Holiday Under the Stars event, the city will host its annual Breakfast in Toyland from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Killeen Community Center.

Children also can take pictures with Santa at the event. Admission is $5.

The city also will host its annual Jingle Bell Dash 5K on Saturday with registration beginning at 7 a.m. at the Killeen Community Center.

Registration at the event is $25.

The race will begin behind the community center at 8 a.m.

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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