Harker Heights City Hall was the site of the fourth annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony put on by the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department on Monday.
Jeff Achee, the director of the parks and recreation department, spoke to the crowd and introduced Spencer Smith, the mayor of Harker Heights who was the one to flip the switch and light the tree to rounds of applause and cheers from the crowd of residents that totalled over 100.
“It’s just an opportunity for our community to come together,” Smith said. “We’ve just come out of the Thanksgiving season going into the Christmas season, so that’s a time of family but also community and it’s just one thing that’s special about Harker Heights.”
Anthony Chandler, a 44-year-old father of five, took his kids to see the tree lighting. This was the second time Chandler went to the tree lighting and he said he did it to support the community.
Chandler shared his thoughts on the event.
“We’re lighting up a Christmas tree, so I think it’s a wonderful thing — share the time with family and friends,” Chandler said.
Achee has been the director of the parks and recreation department for just over a year but has worked in the parks and recreation department for seven years.
Achee talked about the community coming together for the event.
“It’s just really cool to see,” Achee said. “We’ve got some of our vendors out here, it’s just really cool to see people come together for something that just kicks off the holiday season.”
The HMMM Quartet opened the ceremony and sang multiple Christmas songs, including “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”.
Ryan Shine, a 15-year-old freshman at Harker Heights High School, plays the viola in the Harker Heights High School Orchestra, which provided music at the end of the event.
Shine was excited to play for the tree lighting.
Shine’s mother, Brandy Wessels, expressed excitement for her first time at the tree lighting as well.
“I’m just excited to watch them play and see all of the festivities,” Wessels said.
Now that the tree is lit the lights will be on every night through the first week of January.
City Hall is at 305 Millers Crossing, just east of the post office.