Residents brave cold for Frost Fest

Santa Claus snaps a photo to send back to Mrs. Claus of a gingerbread house up for judging at the Harker Heights Frost Fest/Farmers Market at the Community Park on Friday.

HARKER HEIGHTS — Despite freezing temperatures, flocks of bundled-up families braved the cold weather Friday night to revel in the holiday spirit during the 10th annual Frost Fest at the Harker Heights Community Park.

Kicking off the festivities, all eyes were on the guest of honor as he arrived on a fire truck with lights flashing. Santa Claus was then escorted on a parks and recreation vehicle to his personal tent where he made sure to check his list twice to find out who has been naughty or nice this year.

“I’ve been coming to this every year for the past 10 years and I really enjoy it,” said Claus, adding that all of the boys and girls he saw Friday night made the “nice list.”

Luke Gay, 4, dragged his parents out of the house.

“He just had to see Santa,” said his mom, Jennifer Gay, who attended the annual event for the past four years.

Other than seeing the big man himself, the hot cocoa and cookie station was a popular spot for families to warm up.

To combat the cold, free-standing heaters were set up.

“I’m really proud of the native Texans who ventured out in the cold tonight to show their holiday spirit,” said Heather Cox, activities coordinator for Harker Heights Parks and Recreation.

Sharing the event, vendors set up shop for the third annual holiday farmers market. Of the 25 vendors who signed up to attend, 10 followed through.

“The weather was definitely a factor,” Cox said. “However, I’m still satisfied with our turnout.”

Families also got to cast their ballots for their favorite gingerbread house, a new feature to Frost Fest.

This year, the Cunningham family attended the event to get their Santa redemption.

“Last year, our oldest wasn’t too fond of Santa, but this year she did great,” said Elma Cunningham about how much better Isabella, 3, did this year.

Her youngest daughter, Sabine Cunningham, 1, still has some warming up to do.

“It’s a great event, I just wish it was warmer,” Cunningham said.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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