Killeen will mark the start of the holiday season Friday with the annual Tree Lighting event at Killeen Community Center, 2201 East Veterans Memorial Boulevard. The public is invited to join in free festive family fun from 6 to 9 p.m.
Santa Claus will arrive at 7 p.m. to light the 50-foot silhouette holiday tree and will stay to pose for photos with children and listen to wish lists.
Friday evening’s activities will include live entertainment, arts and crafts, cupcake decorating and train rides. A giant snow globe will provide a great backdrop for family photos, and kids can participate in a Killeen Rocks flashlight rock hunt. All activities are free.
A movie in the park screening of Polar Express starts at 8 p.m. at the Amphitheater. Participants should bring a blanket or chair to enjoy this holiday classic complete with hot cocoa and cookies.
Festivities continue Saturday at the Community Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Breakfast in Toyland is from 8 to 10 a.m. and brings children and Santa together over pancakes. A full pancake breakfast is $5 in advance, $6 at the event.
The Jingle Bell Dash 5K race starts at 8 a.m. Runners and walkers can register online now at killeentexas.gov/centex.
Saturday festival activities are free and continue until 3 p.m. They include Santa and Mrs. Claus, arts and crafts, an art bus, a car show and character appearances.