The eighth annual Prosper Christmas Festival will take place from 3-6 p.m. on Dec. 3 in downtown Prosper.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Saluting those who serve,” reminding Prosper residents to give thanks to police officers, first responders, those who served in the military and community volunteers. Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone said he is always appreciative of the thanks and support from the Prosper community.

“Anybody who gets in public safety does not do it to be thanked,” McHone said. “However, it is always nice to see the appreciation from your community and your country, to always see that support. Any of us enjoy that and appreciate that.”

There is no charge to attend the festival, but there will be items and food for purchase at the event. Event attendees can also play games and ride amusement park rides and inflatables. Last year’s event featured a rock climbing wall and a pirate ship amusement ride.

The Prosper Christmas Parade, hosted by the Prosper Rotary Club and Prosper Lions Club, will kick off the event starting at 2:30 p.m. All proceeds from the parade entry fees, $45 before Nov. 21 and $65 after Nov. 21, will benefit the Prosper Police Department’s “Cops with a Claus” program, which provides gift cards to needy families during the holiday season.

The festival ends with a tree lighting ceremony and a fireworks display. McHone said the festival is a good opportunity for Prosper residents to come together as a community.

“It’s always important to be around for Prosper residents to come together, particularly during the holiday season when it’s time for reflection and time for the community to come together as a whole and to solidify our sense of community with one another,” McHone said.

Festival goers are encouraged to park at Reynolds Middle School, 700 N. Coleman St., and use the free shuttle service to and from the downtown area. Shuttles begin at 2 p.m. and continue until the end of festival. There will be no public parking available in the downtown area. Handicapped parking spaces will be located at the post office at Broadway and Coleman Streets.