Town Center filled with families long eager to escape the confines of last weekend’s “icepocalypse” for Keller’s rescheduled annual Holly Days celebration Dec. 10.
The line to visit Santa stretched from the Christmas tree in the center of the square nearly to the end of the street as excited kids jumped with anticipation to talk with Old Saint Nick about their most wanted gifts.
The celebration included a string of food trucks to help cater the event, several holiday crafting stations for kids to make their own paper Christmas trees or ornaments, performances by local schools, a parade topped off with a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus and more.
One quick scan around the area and it was easy to see that parents filled the majority, arms outstretched with cameras to document their child’s choir performance or dance routine, holding stacks of glittery Christmas trees, cups of popcorn and hot chocolate, even reserving a spot in line for their loved ones to visit with Santa while the kids themselves scope the scene.
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Jerri Ford stood in the middle of the long line for Santa so her granddaughter could pop in after picking up some holiday freebies and getting a good spot to see the light parade.
“It’s just fun to get out, to watch them light the tree and see all the people,” Ford said. “But really you do this for your kids.”
Ford’s granddaughter, six-year-old Kaylee Kromer, happily skipped to her spot on line and animatedly chatted about the new doll house she would be asking for from Santa.
The kids of Keller certainly grasped the spotlight for the event and delighted guests with dance routines, musical performances and more.
Carmela Clark, a student at Ridgeview Elementary in Keller, was one such performer alongside her friends and classmates in the school’s third and fourth grade non-auditioned choir.
This year’s performance of classic holiday carols with a little bit of spunky attitude was the second year Carmela sang at the event with her friends.
“I just love being with a group and spending time with friends,” Carmela said. “I just love singing. I perform a lot so I’m not really scared.”
The after school program had been practicing since the second week of school, Carmela said.
Her mother and grandmother, Marisa and Maria Manasse, came out to the event to document the performance.
“We absolutely loved it,” Marisa said. “It’s also just a great thing for the community, because it gives these kids and these schools some exposure to the public.”
But the spirit of the night was even more excited than years past because families could finally escape their homes after the icy weather forced them away from the dangerous roads.
Dianna and Brian Reeves brought their twins, four-year-olds Sophia and Spencer, out to the event for their long-awaited visit with Santa.
The twins chatted with each other rapidly about what they would ask for: a pony and Hot Wheels cars, respectively.
“We live right across the street and it’s convenient to be able to come out here and have some fun with the kids,” Dianna said. “Plus, we’ve been trapped in the house and just needed to get out and do something fun.”