Activities kick off Saturday with WinterFest followed by the Christmas parade and tree lighting.
WinterFest, which begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Whitehouse City Park on East Main Street, features musical entertainment, vendor booths and craft tables, according to a news release.
Whitehouse Area Chamber of Commerce communications director Angela Klein said children will be able to make nature-friendly ornaments, and the splash park concession stand will be open. There also will be an Angel Tree, which gives attendees an opportunity to buy Christmas presents for needy families.
Staging for the parade begins at 5 p.m. behind the Whitehouse football stadium. The parade starts at 6 p.m. at the Whitehouse Junior High School parking lot, turns east onto Farm-to-Market Road 346, turns north onto Bascom Road and ends at Holloway Sixth Grade School.
The theme of the parade is “It's a Texas Christmas,” and floats will be judged on how well that theme is conveyed, said Todd Kelly, second vice president for the Whitehouse Area Chamber of Commerce.
A trophy will be given to the first-place winner, who will get to keep the traveling trophy for the next year.
Longtime Whitehouse residents Danny and Celeste Copeland will serve as emcees, and state Rep.-Elect Matt Schaefer will be the grand marshal, according to a news release.
“The parade is always a big crowd-pleaser,” Ms. Klein said. “We normally have lots of participants from all different kinds of organizations. In the past, we've had Shriners and motorcycle groups.”
Since it will be dark when the parade begins, Ms. Klein said she also expects a lot of lights and glitz.
Last year, there were 65 floats, and Kelly hopes to top that this time.
People may register for the parade until it starts. However, pre-registration is encouraged.
After the parade, children will be able to take pictures with Santa Claus, starting at 7 p.m., and the Christmas-tree lighting will occur about 7:45 p.m. in the city park.
“There'll be some surprises as well. I think it gets a little bit bigger every year,” Ms. Klein said, adding that she anticipates maybe 2,000 or 3,000 attendees.
“There should be something going on to involve every age group. … We really look forward to it. We just want to invite anybody and everybody (from Whitehouse and surrounding areas). The more the merrier.”
Residents can fill out a parade application at www.whitehousetx.com or pick one up at Kelly Air Conditioning and Heating, 208 Texas Highway 110 South.
For more information on the Whitehouse Christmas festivities, call Kelly Air Conditioning and Heating at 903-839-4472 or visit www.whitehousetx.com.