LBJ Christmas Tree Lighting, Evening Tours slated Dec. 15 at Stonewall facility

A Hill Country holiday tradition will take place again this year at the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) State Park and Historic Site on Sunday evening, Dec. 15.

The 44th Annual LBJ Christmas Tree Lighting Program and Evening Tours will coincide with the beginning of President Johnson’s administration 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Offered will be an evening program during which a native cedar tree will be lit, a live nativity, holiday music, refreshments, a visit from Santa Claus, tours at a turn-of-the-century farmstead decked for the holidays and more.

Hosts for the affair are representatives of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as well as members of the Stonewall community and other volunteers.

The festivities kick off around 6 p.m. in the courtyard at the LBJ Visitor Center, located just east of Stonewall on U.S. Highway 290.

Members of the Johnson family are again expected to attend and turn on the colorful lights strung on a large tree.

In conjunction with the tree lighting, a short program will be held in which Stonewall community representatives will participate.

There will also be a live nativity scene set up nearby featuring young participants from the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Youth Organization.

The Stonewall Trinity Lutheran Church Singing Group will perform during the program.

Following the program, activities and entertainment are planned at the visitor center, including ornament making, holiday music, a visit from Santa Claus and more.

On display in the state park for the first time will be a collection of five Christmas greeting cards that President Johnson and the First Lady sent out of the White House at Christmas from 1964-1968.

“These cards represent the love they had for the outdoors and their high regard of natural beauty,” said Iris Neffendorf, superintendent of the LBJ State Park and Historic Site. “Each card was contracted by the Johnsons to American Greetings Corporation and Robert Laessing painted all five. They are all very lovely cards that send wishes for a joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

A few activities will begin before the tree lighting program in the state park’s gift shop. From 4-8 p.m., Lone Star Candy will conduct a sampling of its goods.

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