WAXAHACHIE — Magic was in the air as the Waxahachie Christmas tree on the historic courthouse lawn went from dark to luminous on Tuesday night when Santa, Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf and several helpers joined Waxahachie Mayor Kevin Strength to light the tree as part of the city’s annual holiday celebration.

“This is very uplifting for the community. The downtown is beautiful, and it was a very, very good parade. I am just excited when we all come together to celebrate Waxahachie and to celebrate Christmas,” Strength said. “Christmas means the birth of Christ to me, my Lord and Savior. Also to celebrate community, celebrate family and just happiness. This really means a lot. It is exciting to be the mayor of such a vibrant town.”

The evening started with a lighted parade that made the journey from Patrick Street to downtown Waxahachie. There were floats of every shape and size that were decorated brightly to reflect the jolly atmosphere of the season. Along the parade route were several holiday characters like elves and others such as "Wheelie Elvis'" who adorned jumpsuits with holiday colors of green and red. Santa and his entourage were the last to arrive on top of a WFD fire truck.

Strength then greeted Santa on the courthouse lawn where Old Saint Nick informed the mayor that there were only 24 days left until Christmas. The jolly man in the red robe also said he was going to give Strength “another chance “ to be good and that he was “going to be watching.”

Following the lighting of the tree, there were activities that families could enjoy, which include pictures with Santa, train rides and a petting zoo.

Waxahachie resident Brett Poteet said the tree lighting and the parade bring the community together for the holidays.

“This is great. We like it because we want to find ways to support Waxahachie more. So it is nice to have something for the people in Waxahachie to come to as appose to so many times we have to go somewhere else. That is what I really like that it brings attention to here. It brings people here,” Poteet said. “Just take a look around the place is packed. Not everyone is from Waxahachie, but people are coming to Waxahachie for it. I think that it is great. I just hope that keep it going.”

Fellow resident Aaron Bodey shared Poteet’s thoughts about the evening.

“I really like how you have got all the different community things represented in the parade,” Bodey said. “The fun little activities that are around the square but also to hear that big cheer when the Christmas tree was lit that was really cool.”

Laurie Mosley, Waxahachie Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, said the event puts everyone in the spirit of the holiday.

“This is such a fantastic community event that we host with the help of a lot of volunteers that come together to organize the annual tree lighting. In fact that we have added the lighted parade to it on a Tuesday night makes Waxahachie shine,” Mosley said. “It is just such a huge night for the community to all come together and to kick the Christmas season off right with a fantastic parade and all of the other activities.”

— All photos by Mike Sackett/WDL

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