Now that Thanksgiving is behind us (and the leftovers will be lunch for the next week), it's time to officially kick off the Christmas season.

In Killeen, that means it's time for the annual City of Killeen Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Under the Stars.

At 6 PM his Thursday, December 3, Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra will light a 50-foot silhouette Christmas tree at the Killeen Community Center, 2201 E Veterans Memorial Blvd. You're invited to park at the event and watch the lighting from the safety and comfort of your family vehicle.

Holiday Under the Stars happens the next day, Friday, December 4. From 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, festive lighted displays will line the Lions Club Park Hike and Bike Trail, 1600 E. Stan Schlueter Loop. Enjoy food trucks, hot cocoa, and other treats at this open air event. Admission is free.

On Saturday, December 12, the 58th annual Killeen Christmas Parade will line the streets of Downtown Killeen from 6 PM to 8 PM. This year's event will be a "reverse parade". No, that doesn't mean it runs backwards. It means the parade will sit still, while you and your family drive through and enjoy the floats and light displays. Think of it kind of like Nature in Lights out at BLORA. With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in Bell County due to large gatherings, the event is designed to help slow the spread of the virus by spacing out floats and displays and allowing families to enjoy them from the safety of their cars.

Speaking of Nature in Lights, the gates are open now through January 3, 2021. If you've never been, it's 5.5 miles of beautiful outdoor light displays that's always been a drive-through event. It's a Central Texas holiday tradition that people of all ages love. There're pony rides and a Santa's Village rest stop halfway through.

Get more details on Nature in Lights here.

However you choose to celebrate this season, I hope it's a joyous time for you and your family, and that you'll keep safety and mindfulness top of mind so that it can be just as joyous for families caring for vulnerable people. It's the season for caring for others and sharing good will with all.

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