Thursday, 19/10/2017 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Tree lighting ceremony kicks off season

Tree lighting ceremony kicks off season

By Shannon Myers
Correspondent

Wednesday, Harker Heights City Hall became a little brighter and festive with the third annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Residents and city officials gathered under the clear sky and crisp weather to enjoy the beginning of the holiday season.
The tree is placed near the Purple Heart monument at city hall.
“Several years ago, we found out that we did not have a community tree nor did we do a tree lighting,” said Gina Pence, president and CEO of Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce. “So, we thought as the Chamber of Commerce representing our community, that it should definitely be something that we wanted to bring to the season and get the community involved,” said Pence.
The Chamber of Commerce alongside the City of Harker Heights and local sponsors Papa’s Café, Sam’s Club, Party Mixer DJ and Karaoke helped to bring the holiday cheer to Harker Heights tree lighting ceremony.
Union State Bank donated the tree, strewn in red ribbon and decorated with silver and gold ornaments.
“This is just so pretty. I like it that it is here at the city hall because we can identify the tree with Harker Heights, said resident, Cyd West. “The tree itself is beautiful and I think the fact that it was donated by one of the businesses in town, Union State Bank, shows that Harker Heights is wonderful community partners,” said West.
The Harker Heights High School Varsity and Junior Varsity Orchestra performed holiday classic songs during the ceremony.
“Organized informality. There’s no agenda. People are just coming to recognize the season, said Harker Heights Mayor Rob Robinson. “It’s just people having a good time. And that’s what communities and people are supposed to do is be together…That’s what Harker Heights is known for,” said Robinson.
Harker Heights longtime resident, Miaalenna Bermel, came with family to see the tree lighting and to listen to her daughter playing the cello in the orchestra.
“It helps bring the moral of the community. I’m from Harker Heights. This is a good thing. You don’t see many other communities do this,” said Bermel.
Harker Heights resident, Michaela Smith, with her 19 month-old daughter, Liliana, were excited to have stumbled upon the tree lighting ceremony.
Smith was happy to see the city helping to bring its citizens together to celebrate one of the most important reasons for the holiday season.
“I think one of the main concepts of Christmas is just to have friends, family, and neighbors come together,” said Smith. “We definitely want to come out and support the community. I think it’s a good thing to have this,” said Smith.
Gina Pence, Mayor Robinson, and representatives of Union State Bank made remarks during the ceremony.

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