City holds tree lighting, Christmas Extravaganza
By DAVID J. HARDIN
The Copperas Cove City Park was the site for the annual Christmas Extravaganza, held Friday night from 4-8 p.m. The event is an annual tourism event.
The extravaganza had a petting zoo, bouncy houses, slides, live music, food trucks, and a hay maze with a bubble machine, Christmas lights and a gingerbread house contest. Vendors were on site selling jewelry, honey and other items.
The night also featured a Christmas tree lighting and a visit from Santa Claus.
Each person could buy a wristband for $5 that was good for all attractions, with admission being $5 per carload.
Tamara McCauley is with First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove and helped with the live nativity.
“We were asked last year to do something special for the extravaganza, so we got several of our teens that go to the church and asked them to help recreate the manger scene during the birth of Jesus,” McCauley said. “This is second year that our kids play each role of the nativity scene. We also recite the bible verses pertaining to the birth. It is our opportunity to share the message of the season with the community and invite them to our church.”
Bill and Cindy Schwab, owners of Fannie’s Farm Friends, brought some of their animals for the petting zoo during the Christmas Extravaganza,
“This is the second year we have done it,” said Bill Schwab. “We love coming out to this event, because our animals are very friendly and we love showing them off. Just seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces, is all that matters.” Some the animals that they brought were ponies, ducks, rabbits, and goats.
One of the vendors, who sold honey from his farm, was Bradley B. Ware, who has a full functioning farm in Ding Dong, Texas not too far from Copperas Cove. The honey has many benefits to help people with their allergies, especially children who have many issues, said Ware.
“We have always had bees. In the past five years bee removal has been a big thing for me,” said Ware. “It is great to know that people do care about the bees. There has been a shortage of bees lately, but we help people remove them from their houses so that they are rid of them and they can moved to a place where they do their work and help pollinate, this is vital to our way of life.”
David and Michael Escobar have run A&D Designs handmade jewelry for six years and are from Nolanville. They used the extravaganza to try to sell some of their handmade jewelry. They make necklaces, rings, bracelets and many other types of jewelry and also were among the vendors during the city’s farmers market each week from May to October. They have also been a part of the extravaganza for the past few years.
“It always great to be able to come out here and be a part of this,” said David.
Amanda Whitmire brought her daughter Serenity from Harker Heights to enjoy this year’s extravaganza. Serenity was smiling when she got to pet the animals at the petting zoo.
“The animals are so fun,” Serenity said.
Amanda added that “the main things we wanted to see while we were here were the animals and Santa.”
Amanda Sawyer and her daughter Hayley came out for the event.
“Riding the pony was so much fun, but it was a little bit scary riding along the hills, the pony was small so it was great,” said Hayley. “I am mostly here for the candy.”
Stephen Savage, his wife Samantha, and his children Hayley and Griffin came out to the Christmas Extravaganza to have some fun. They got to pet the animals and see Santa. The family lives in Copperas Cove, and Stephen is stationed at Fort Hood. This is the first year that they have attended the event because they found out through Fort Hood area events. Stephen said the extravaganza was a great event for the whole family.