By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
Approximately 5,000 guests arrive at the Bell County Expo Center to experience AWARE Central Texas’ 13th annual Christmas on the Farm event on Saturday. With a multitude of holiday-inspired activities, an exotic petting zoo, a hayride pulled by a tractor and the chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, it was a day of fun and family time for all.
At just $.50 a ticket and $2 per family, children and families were able to experience a Christmas wonderland at a low cost while also benefitting AWARE’s advocacy for the the fight against child abuse and family violence. In addition, activity tickets were sold for $.50 a piece or $10 for 25 tickets, and all of the proceeds go to AWARE.
Executive Director of AWARE Central Texas Misty Biddick was excited about the turnout and support for AWARE that was visible on Saturday.
“This is probably the biggest fundraiser each year, and it seems to be growing each year,” Biddick said. “I think the best part of this is you can come out here, and you can spend the day, and it’s not going to break the bank; we have whole families out here spending time together, and that’s part of what this is about, having the opportunity to spend time with your kids.”
“We have Santa back there; we have Santa and Mrs. Claus; it’s really a low-cost day for a family, and it benefits prevention work and advocacy for domestic violence and child abuse survivors,” Biddick said.
AWARE covers four counties – Milam, Coryell, Bell and Lampasas – their outreach served over 5,000 families in 2018 alone, so booths were set up by a variety of businesses from around Central Texas.
“We have WCTractor Temple that brought tractors out, so it really does look like Christmas on the Farm,” Biddick said.
With it being AWARE’s 13th year of hosting this event, Biddick said she looks forward to expanding it and making it even better next year.
“We want to grow it; we always love input from the public about what we can do to make it better, and we just want to have a good time, raise some money for a great cause and have all of Central Texas come out.”
This was the first year for Lori Kirk, who attended Christmas on the Farm alongside five children and her husband. They spent the entire afternoon soaking up all it had to offer.
“Oh, it’s a lot of fun; we’ve enjoyed everything,” Kirk said.