The sky over Cedar Park will be a little brighter this weekend.
Nearly 30,000 lights will adorn the Heritage Oak on Quest Parkway on Friday evening. The City of Cedar Park Parks and Recreation Department is hosting the eighteenth annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and has become a tradition for many local families.
“Many families really do have this as a family tradition,” Tara McAlister, Cedar Park Recreation Program Coordinator, said. “We have it lit up until New Year’s for people to continue visiting.”
“This is the eighth year my family has attended the lighting,” Barbara Johnson, a Cedar Park resident of 10 years, said. “It is the first time I will go with my new grandbaby. The tradition continues.”
This year’s event will be a little different. The official Cedar Park Flag will be unveiled during the event.
Early this spring, the city asked the community to submit flag design ideas so Cedar Park could have its first official flag. About 250 community members submitted designs. The Cedar Park City Council formed a subcommittee to go over the submissions and identify common themes, elements, colors and symbols, which were combined into a single design that represents the community.
After the reveal, Cedar Park High School Choir will sing Christmas Carols while guests can enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides, games and prizes. Santa Claus will welcome children to his workshop where children will be able to get their picture taken with Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. McAlister said there are several arts and crafts available for children.
“I have 1,800 of each craft,” she said. “Last year, we ran out so we are prepared.”
According to McAlister, on years when the weather cooperates as many as 2,000 people attend the tree lighting.
So who gets to light the tree?
“The tree will be lit by the winner of the city’s tree-coloring contest,” McAlister said. “We have first-graders submit their vision of the oak tree. This year we had 64 entries.”