Published December 11, 2014
By Jordan Yarbourgh, The Belton Journal
AWARE Central Texas is hosting their 8th annual Christmas at the Farm event this upcoming weekend.
It will be held at the Bell County Expo Center on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., where everyone is welcome to come participate in on the fun.
A volunteer for AWARE came up with the idea of Christmas on the Farm to help raise money for the organization, which works toward to prevention of child abuse and neglect and family violence. They also wanted the kids to experience what farm life was like while also having fun with the event.
Despite the small size of the agency, there are locations scattered all throughout Central Texas and it’s still growing.
To help the growth of the organization and to provide a little holiday fun for the families in the area, AWARE ran with the idea of Christmas on the Farm. All the proceeds from the event go straight towards funding classes to help children in those violent situations.
The classes teach parents how to treat their kids correctly, give advice on not taking out their anger on their children and help them raise a family in a better environment.
The event has become more successful in the past years and there are now about forty activities for families and children to enjoy. Some of the activities include hay rides, a hay maze, stocking decorating, stick horse races, pedal tractor races and quizzes for the parents.
The event takes months to prepare for, but with the help of volunteers, the Belton Kiwanis Club, a high school group that even raised more money outside of the event, and other groups in the area, it makes it a lot easier to plan.
Along with the fun things to do for the kids, there is also a bake sale, a puppet show, book readings and some local entertainment so people can dance. A beauty school is also coming to help put bows in girls’ hair.
“It’s really a fun event,” Harriet Brodie, who works on commercial sponsors for the event, said. “One of the things that struck me the first time I ever went was how much the attitude is really about the children. That part just really touches me.”
Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be making their appearance at Christmas on the Farm for pictures. A common crowd pleaser at the event is a man who comes dressed up as the Grinch. While he walks around the event, kids can go up and hug him and take pictures with him.
Brodie said the man made his own costume and that he looks forward to coming back each year and making the children happy.
“It’s just innocent fun,” Brodie said. “That’s the only way I know how to put it. It’s an experience to be had, I think. This event is really unique and I’m really proud of what it has become.”