First Responders Parade

A Rudolph decoration adorns the grill of an emergency vehicle on Saturday, December 16, 2017, during the annual First Responders Parade in Nolanville.

It’s never too late to start a new Christmas tradition, and a new one will start Saturday in Florence.

“The city decided about 10 days ago to put together this Christmas Extravaganza,” said Florence Mayor Mary Condon, on Thursday. “It will be a nice little get-together.”

On Saturday the city is having its first Christmas Extravaganza, which will include a parade down Main Street. The parade and festivities will start at 10 a.m. on Main Street in Florence.

“It’s going to be busy downtown,” Condon said.

Even with short notice, already 23 vendors, including artisans, have signed up to sell their wares along Main Street.

About as many groups and people have signed up to participate in the parade, including horseback riders, the Florence Police Department, kids with their go-carts, city employees and members of the city council.

“We’re going to be dressing up as characters, such as the Grinch, a reindeer and a candy cane,” Condon said. “We have a real-life Grinch so it will be funny.”

It also is a good time for folks to try out the city’s healthy food initiative started in July.

Through the Hill Country Community Ministry and with help from volunteers from the school district and the city, folks can pick up fresh fruits and veggies in front of City Hall from 12-2 p.m.

The fresh food initiative is held once a month, usually on the last Saturday of the month.

“For November and December we changed it so people can get ready for the holidays,” Condon said.


The city of Nolanville will host its annual First Responders’ Parade on Saturday.

Two units from Fort Hood will be participating in the parade: The First Cavalry Horse Detachment and the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade. Santa Claus will be available for pictures with families at the Community Center after the parade ends.

The parade will also include a Whoville float — from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” by Dr. Seuss — that families will be able to take pictures on at the end of the parade.

The parade will start on Main Street at noon and will end at Cavasos Elementary School.

Santa Claus will be spending the day in Nolanville on Saturday, and area residents are invited to take part in two special activities involving St. Nick.

From 9:30 to 10:30 at First United Methodist Church, 300 W. Avenue I, children ages 4 to 11 are invited to have a free breakfast with Santa.

The event is limited to the first 48 children. Parents must RSVP to ensure a seat. Contact the Rev. Patricia Warden at 254-368-8234.

From 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., residents are welcome to take their own pictures with Santa at Sims Community Center on 10th Street.

Participants are asked to bring their own cameras and take as many pictures as they can in five minutes.

Children and pets are welcome. Admission is a donation to the Nolanville Fire Department.

Harker Heights

Harker Heights hosts the city’s 15th annual Frost Fest tonight.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Market Heights shopping center parking lot, 201 E. Central Texas Expressway.

Festival goers will be offered free hot chocolate and cookies sponsored by Sam’s Club in Harker Heights.

The event also features a wreath-decorating contest, a Holiday Farmers Market, a synthetic ice skating rink, an interactive snow globe and a visit from Santa Claus.

Visitors will also have a chance to see a live longhorn steer in the spirit of a Texas Christmas.

The wreath decorating contest is sponsored by Heights Lumber and Supply.

The public will view and vote for their favorite wreath entries. First, second and third place and prizes will be awarded during the festival.

“We are excited to offer a true Texas Christmas for our native citizens and those that have just arrived to our area,” said Heather Buller, activities coordinator for the city. “It is a great opportunity for the community come together to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season.

For more information about Frost Fest, please contact Buller at 254-953-5493 or visit

The Carlson Christmas Light Show will be from 6 to 10 p.m. daily until Dec. 25 at 428 Winter Sun Drive, Harker Heights. Tune into FM 88.1 to listen to the coordinated holiday music.


The Killeen Public Library is hosting Make & Take Mondays in December for adults to make holiday crafts and take them home as decorations or gifts.

The final creation will be a round bauble Dec. 17.

Sessions are from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Killeen Arts and Activities Center, building E.

The entrance is behind the playground.

Participation is free, and no registration is required.

To learn more about the Killeen Public Library and its services and activities, go to

Killeen residents are invited to show off their festively decorated homes during the annual Outdoor Decorating Contest.

The public will select favorites.

The Celebrate Killeen Committee hosts the competition each year to foster neighborhood and community pride. Displays can include lighting, figures, animation and other festive features.

The public will vote on entries through an online survey ending Sunday. First-, second- and third-place winners will be announced Dec. 20.

Nature in Lights

The Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area annual Trail of Lights is open from 5:30 to 11 p.m. daily until Jan. 6.

The trail, which is at North Nolan Road and Cottage Road in Belton, features miles of outdoor light displays and an opportunity to visit Santa’s Village for shopping and pictures with Santa. Cars, mini-vans, and pickups are $15 per carload.

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