WAXAHACHIE — Bells will once again ring in downtown Waxahachie on Tuesday night, as residents gather for the annual lighted Christmas parade and community tree lighting.

“We have got all kinds of stuff that is going on this year. We will have the parade and our activities in downtown. We will have the petting zoo, the pony rides, bounce houses, and the CNB of Texas train rides,” Downtown Development Director Anita Brown said. “All of those activities will be going on until the parade starts at 6:30 p.m.”

Activities run Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6 — 9:30 p.m. and take a break during the parade.

Brown said the lighted parade would start at the Optimist Fields and then make its way down Patrick Street. It will then proceed down Main Street and end at the MKT Train Depot on Rodgers Street. One new change to the parade is that Santa Claus will be traveling the entire parade route.

Once at the end, the fire truck transporting Santa will take him to the Courthouse Square where the jolly old man will meet with Mayor Kevin Strength to light the community Christmas tree. Accompanying Santa will be Mrs. Claus and Buddy the Elf.

“This is one of the beauties of living in a community like Waxahachie. You get to have these magical moments that embrace the whole community, which is what makes it special to me,” Brown remarked. “Again it happens downtown, which is the heart of our community and all of those people that come that evening are making memories. The kids that are seeing Santa, riding the train, going on pony rides and the visiting petting zoo they are all making memories of being in downtown that they are going to carry with them their whole life. It is one of the most magical nights of the year.”

Another addition to the activities in downtown is students from Howard Junior High School and Waxahachie High School will sing traditional Christmas songs with the mayor. Students from Howard will start singing at 6 p.m. The high school choir will lead the singing after the tree is officially lit. A screen will be set up with words to the songs projected on it so people can join in with the choirs.

People who wish to have their children take photos with Santa can do so after the tree lighting. Pictures with Santa will be set up in the Pocket Park across from the courthouse on College Street. Cost for photos is $5. Funds raised from the pictures will go to help fund a piece of interactive public art that will be set up in downtown.

The Historic Ellis County Courthouse is located at 101 W. Main Street in downtown Waxahachie. For more information about the event, Brown can be contacted at city hall at 469-309-4000.