Christmas tunes filled the crisp, cool air Saturday afternoon as children glided across an ice skating rink and locals filled the Green Avenue Farmers Market for the second annual Merry Market Day.

Leslie Hinkle, community development director, said the event began last year when the city wanted to add something that would accommodate everyone to precede the annual Christmas parade.

“We had the idea, since there are a lot of people downtown already scoping out spots for the parade, that we would have something for everyone to do, and we came up with Merry Market,” she said. “There’s a little bit of everything.”

More than 20 vendors offered a variety of goods for shoppers.

Several went head-to-head in a chili cook-off, and live music floated through the streets of downtown.

Barbara Price, who recently moved to Killeen from California, said she wanted to check out the event to see what the city had to offer.

“I thought this would be a good way to see what’s going on in the city, and it’s a really nice way to get out and see the community,” she said. “It’s a little cold, but it’s great. I like that it’s quaint, and the farmers market was nice.”

Price’s husband, Andy, said his favorite part of the event was the homemade jams and homegrown turnips.

Laura Childs and Michelle Coscia also were first-timers at the event.

“We thought this would be something great to get out and come see,” Childs said. “It’s very nice and homey, and the food is great.”

One thing brought Marilee Folse out to Merry Market Day: chili cook-off.

“They said chili cook-off. Being from Texas, if someone says chili cook-off, you go,” she said.

Folse said she also wanted to bring her daughter, Samantha Penney, 3, to enjoy the festivities and wait for the parade.

“I like this a lot,” she said. “It’s very simple. I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Savanna Folse and Dominique Vaughn said it was nice to have “something to do.”

Ray Pratoff, a first-timer, said he wanted to see what the event had to offer. He, like Folse, said the chili was a hit.

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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