Katy Christmas tree lighting brings out scores of residents
The night air may not have been particularly bracing at this year’s official lighting of the Christmas tree outside Katy City Hall, but Juliann Pelton wasn’t complaining.
Pelton and her family lived in New Hampshire before moving to Katy and she wasn’t mourning the lack of snow drifts.
“It’s awesome that they can wear flip flops,” Pelton said, motioning toward one of Santa’s helpers maneuvering a fidgeting boy toward the waiting lap of the jovial North Pole resident.
This year marked the 45th time the city had staged a formal tree lighting ceremony in front of Katy’s city hall. Hundreds of people gathered around the tree to for Christmas performances from Katy choir and dance troupes.
Miles Pelton, 5, seemed to be more interested in how Santa arrived at the tree lighting ceremony - courtesy of the Katy Fire Department- than about seeing the man himself.
“He’s a little boy. He was just staring at the fire truck,” Juliann Pelton said.
Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner was the host and read “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known as the ”’Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem.
“I think it’s great. There are a lot more people here than I expected,” Brawner said.
“I’m so pleased this many people came in so they can see what’s happening to downtown Katy. It’s so important as we try to build these businesses back up.”
With Hurricane Harvey still so fresh in the minds of the community, and with some Katy residents still not back in their homes, the importance of something like a simple Christmas event can’t be overemphasized, Brawner said.
“This is a community - you look out here and there are families and children,” he said. “These are the things that make a community great.”
A hush fell over the town square as the countdown began. The crowd erupted into cheers as the Christmas tree suddenly exploded into light.
“This is our first time coming. It’s beautiful,” Pelton said. “They’ve really done a nice job.”
The line to take a photograph with Santa - and maybe whisper a suggestion for a present into his ear - stretched down the street running in front of City Hall.
Sarah Harrington, who was waiting with her children Ellie, 9 and Anna, 5, was confident of a large crowd for the event - traditionally the start of the Christmas season in Katy.
“It’s really great. I was hoping to see how many people turned out,” Harrington said.
Her younger daughter enjoyed the lighting but said she really had no interest in take a photograph with Santa. As for Ellie Harrington, she was more than ready to check in with St. Nick.
“I love Christmas,” Ellie shouted. “It’s the best holiday ever.”