Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 28, 2012

Parade, tree lighting, highlight of holiday season

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE —

It's that time of year again when Jacksonville firefighters and other city employees become de facto “elves” for Santa Claus and start preparing the city for holiday events such as the annual Christmas parade and the Lighting of Hazel Tilton Park. 

What could possibly make for a more Holly Jolly Christmas? 

The 13th Annual “Lighting of Hazel Tilton Park” takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday. Dec. 6 at the corner of Bolton and Highway 79 – immediately following the 6:15 p.m. Old-Fashioned Christmas parade, which, incidentally, is themed "Christmas Memories," officials said.

 The park lighting event, sponsored by both the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and the Jacksonville Fire Department, is viewed by numerous people each year, according to Kayla Stephenson, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Project coordinator.

A rain date for the lighting event  has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, Stephenson said.

The story: Several years ago a fund raiser organized by Anita Hutson volunteered to raise money for a city Nativity scene, Stephenson said.

Local churches and citizens raised several thousand dollars in just a few weeks, she said. The Nativity scene along with other holiday decorations makes this one of the most visible parks in Jacksonville, according to Stephenson.

 Anyone with questions about either event should contact the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce at 903-586-2217 or email coordinator@jacksonvilletexas.com.