Tree Lightings: Santa Claus Came to Town, and Snider Plaza

Santa Claus doesn’t need a reindeer-drawn sleigh to make a stylish arrival.

A town of Highland Park fire engine will do delightfully well, as the jolly fellow proved Dec. 7 during the lighting celebration at the Landmark Pecan Tree in the 4200 block of Armstrong Avenue.

Children eagerly awaited the big guy’s arrival while Mrs. Claus indulged them with a sweet treat and posed for photographs.

The affair also featured songs from the Highland Park High School Choir, real reindeer, mini train rides, and face painting.

On Dec. 3, a few weeks later than usual, Rotary Club of Park Cities member Jeff Brady and University Park Mayor Tommy Stewart counted down the annual tree lighting in Snider Plaza.

The event began hours earlier with live performances on the main stage and plenty of activities for children, including crafts with UP Public Library, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, and, new this year, a skating rink.

Other booths offered opportunities to adopt pets and enjoy food and beverages. The annual event benefits the North Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army of North Texas.

Rotary club president Jeff Sheehan honored Jerry Washam with an award for 18 years of support for the Snider Plaza Tree Lighting.

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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