Residents of Parker County turned out in big numbers for the Second Annual Parker County Courthouse Christmas Lighting Ceremony Saturday at the historic Parker County Courthouse in downtown Weatherford.
Last year’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony brought more than 1,000 people to the courthouse lawn and quadrants for the inaugural event and this year was no different.
This year’s lighting ceremony was much shorter, with Christmas Carols beginning at 7 p.m. and then the official lighting of the tree and courthouse at approximately 7:15 p.m.
New additions this year include four additional stars on the courthouse dormers, as well as antique lamp posts on the north and south of the courthouse, window candles and more, according to Parker County Judge Mark Riley.
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Last year, the decorations on the courthouse lawn included a Tree Forest. This year, the Tree Forest became the “Tree Forest for Angels.”
“We replaced the snowman in the forest with a lighted angel, and everyone was invited to hang an angel ornament or ornaments on one of the trees in honor or memory of someone,” Riley said.
The Tree Forest for Angels is open to everyone in the community.
“I hoped that people will just hang their ornament on one of the several trees we put up on the west side of the lawn,” he said. “The county is not responsible for the safekeeping of any ornaments, so I would encourage participants to purchase an angel ornament that is not too expensive. One idea would be to put up an angel ornament that is home made by the kids or grandkids.”
The angel ornaments will remain on display only in the tree forest on the West Lawn of the courthouse, not on the big tree that is located on the East Lawn. Ornaments can be placed on the tree, at any time, all season long.
Riley said the Tree Forest for Angels is not related to the Angel Tree program that helps to raise toys for children who may not otherwise experience the joy of presents at Christmas.
“This is the time to give and reflect on all that we have been given,” he said. “I encourage everyone to join in the spirit of Christmas in the many ways available as we focus on the true meaning.”
After Christmas, people who participated can come and get their ornaments if they choose. When the trees and other Christmas decorations are removed any ornaments remaining will be stored and put up next year.