Tree lighting ceremony to kick off 12 Days of Anna

staff reports
Crews from Texas Fireman LLC get Sherley Heritage Park ready for Anna’s Christmas tree lighting this Saturday.

The 12 Days of Anna are upon us again. It’s the city’s annual celebration of the holiday season leading up to Christmas. Festivities includes various activities geared toward people of all ages. 

Those festivities begin this Saturday, Dec. 11, with the official Christmas Tree lighting ceremony starting at 5 p.m. at Sherley Heritage Park.  Attendees will be able to take a complimentary photo with Santa, complete a craft with Mrs. Claus, take in a movie in the park, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate.  There will even be a live reindeer in the park. 

Crews from Texas Fireman LLC get Sherley Heritage Park ready for Anna’s Christmas tree lighting this Saturday.

The tree will be lit just after dark around 5:45 p.m.  That will be followed by 8-minute fireworks show. 

On Dec 12 Sherley Heritage Park will host Candy Cane Lane from noon to 4 p.m. The community is invited to show off their best chalk art skills and add their masterpieces to the Candy Cane Lane chalk art path. 

Dec. 13 brings a wreath ornament craft.  Materials for this are included in the Christmas kit that will be available for pick-up during the tree lighting festivities. 

On the following day, Dec. 14, a special mailbox will be at Sherley Heritage Park for anyone who wants to leave a letter for Santa.  Those who include an email address with their letter can expect a personal reply. 

It will be time to get competitive on Dec. 15 as the city hosts a Christmas tree decorating contest. Those who submit a photo of their most decked-out tree to the 12 Days of Anna webpage will be eligible for a prize. 

Crews from Texas Fireman LLC get Sherley Heritage Park ready for Anna’s Christmas tree lighting this Saturday.

The competitions continue Dec. 16 with an Elf on the Shelf contest.  Neighbors are encouraged to submit photos of the wackiest, funniest or most festive thing their scout elf has done this holiday season. 

The community is invited to spend an evening with family and friends watching favorite Christmas movies on Dec. 17.  Cookies and hot chocolate provided in the Christmas kits will help make the evening even more special. 

On Dec. 18, Mrs. Claus and her elves will come to Sherley Heritage Park from 10 to 11 a.m. for Storybook Saturday. The event will include crafts and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” 

Santa will be busy from 9 to 10 a.m. that same day, hosting a pancake breakfast at his workshop in Sherley Heritage Park. Registered guests will receive breakfast and a picture will Jolly Old Saint Nick himself.   

Dec. 19 brings Santa’s scavenger hunt. Between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the city will be decked with special holiday photo opportunities.  Those who find them all and make their way back to the final location will earn the chance for a price.  

On Dec. 20, young and old alike will enjoy working on the “Santa stop here!” craft that was included in the city-provided Christmas kit. 

Anna officials hope to start a new tradition on Dec. 21 by spreading Christmas cheer. All residents are asked to pass along Christmas goods and letters to their neighbors.  “Spread Christmas Cheer” tags can be downloaded from the 12 Days of Anna website. 

City-sponsored events conclude Dec. 22 with the Christmas lights house competition. Everyone is invited to participate.  There is no cost to enter, but participants must register if they want to compete. 

For additional details on Anna’s Christmas events, visit annatexas.gov/12daysofanna.  And for those looking for other winter season activities, the Anna Neighborhood Services Department just released its Winter Recreation Guide.  A link to that can be found on the City of Anna website. 

Crews from Texas Fireman LLC get Sherley Heritage Park ready for Anna’s Christmas tree lighting this Saturday.