Weatherford Democrat

November 24, 2013

Preparations for Courthouse Tree Lighting ceremony continue

Downtown festivities set for Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.

Weatherford Democrat

— The public is invited to participate in the Parker County Courthouse Christmas Lighting Ceremony set for 7 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 30.

The event will be highlighted by the lighting of the 30-foot tall Christmas tree on the east lawn of the courthouse and the singing of Christmas carols by the Crockett Elementary Choir and “O Holy Night” performed by Sophie Clark.

The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with a “Celebration of Lights” beginning at 5 p.m. that will include caroling, carriage rides, shopping and entertainment. This is a free public event.

Residents from throughout the county sponsored battery-operated candles that will adorn the windows of the courthouse in honor or memory of loved ones.

“We had an overwhelming response to the call for candle sponsorships,” Parker County Judge Mark Riley said. “Each candle sponsor, along with the name of the person the candle is dedicated to, will be listed in the program for the lighting ceremony and the names will be read aloud at the ceremony.”

In addition, all names will be placed in the Commissioners Court Minutes for permanent record.

Riley appointed a citizens committee to bring back the historic Christmas look of the Parker County Courthouse that was once a common theme for this building during the Christmas holiday season.

“Throughout Texas, and especially here in Parker County, our courthouses are a direct window into our heritage,” Riley said. “I have arranged for a few people who are very important to Parker County’s heritage and who have been important in keeping up with our history to be the ones who will pull the switch, which will light the tree. I encourage the public to participate; this is going to be a great moment as we celebrate our past and our future.”

The Courthouse Christmas Lighting Committee is led by Chairperson Donna Tillman and includes Bob and Carolyn Glenn, Jonelle Bartoli, Britton Schweitzer and Lori Bennett.

“It has been a lot of work but it has been fun,” Tillman said. “Talk about getting into the Christmas spirit, we definitely have it. The community has rallied behind us and the sense of pride in our courthouse is overwhelming.”

Donation jars are available for those wishing to assist in funding the courthouse Christmas lighting project at Something Special, Cup and Cake, Quickprint, Mainstreet Mercantile, Hartness Print Central, Sassy’s, Texas Butane, Back to Yesterday, Arbor Lane, Red Rooster, Bennett’s Office Supply, Downtown Café, Rhema Boutique, Dave Deison C.P.A., Craig’s Music, Brilliant Medical Boutique, Pizza Place, Weatherford Chiropractic, Mother Lode, Hair on the Square and Le Chateau K-9 Day Spa.

Those wishing to make a donation for courthouse Christmas decorations can do so by calling Tillman at Holland Lake Nursing Center in Weatherford at 817-598-0160. Those who would like to purchase a print of the courthouse, commissioned by First National Bank, with proceeds going to the Christmas Lighting Committee, can do so by contacting Bennett at Hartness Print Central on the square in Weatherford at 817-594-6020.

More information can be found at the committee’s Facebook page Parker County Courthouse Christmas Committee. The committee also has a Facebook event page for that night called “Celebration of Lights – The Lighting of the Parker County Courthouse Christmas Tree & Stars.”

For those interested in old photos of the courthouse as well as the posting of memories and stories about the courthouse they can go to the Facebook page Parker County Historic Courthouse. That page is maintained by Riley. To post comments, just request to join the page.