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LBJ State Park Christmas Tradition Still ‘Glowing’

The Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site takes on a holiday glow during the Christmas season. On Sunday, Dec. 16, staff and volunteers transform the farm for the annual Tree Lighting. It’s a chance to come out to the park and take part in this tradition first started by President Lyndon B. Johnson and first lady Lady Bird Johnson. Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

President Lyndon B. Johnson and first lady Lady Bird Johnson first flipped the switch to the Christmas tree more than 40 years ago, and the tradition continues Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site.

The park is hosting the 49th annual Tree Lighting at 4 p.m. that day. It’s a family-friendly event started by the president, a native of Johnson City, and his wife and showcases the German holiday traditions found in the Hill Country.

The main program will start at 5:30 p.m. in the courtyard, where the LBJ national and state park staffs join together to remember the Johnsons’ legacy and light the tree. Luci Johnson, daughter of the president and first lady, will speak during the event.

The Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site is hosting the 49th annual Tree Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 16, starting at 4 p.m. People can also experience how Christmas was done a century ago with a tour of the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The celebration includes German and holiday music from the Just Fun Bunch Band, a book signing by former Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Site Superintendent Russ Whitlock, refreshments, and a chance to shop at the LBJ State Park and Historic Site store.

After the ceremony and lighting, everyone can take in the live nativity scene presented by St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, storytelling beside the chuck wagon, trolley rides through the national park, and a visit with Santa Claus. Plus, there are more refreshments.

The Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm will be decorated as it would have been for Christmas Eve a century ago. The farm will have live music, a working blacksmith, and a candlelit Christmas tree as people tour the historic house that will be glowing with lamplight.

People will also get to sample a homemade treat in the kitchen.

This free event is outdoors, so the public should dress accordingly for the weather and bring a flashlight. Both the Sauer-Beckmann farm and the exhibit hall of the state park will close at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 to prepare for the event later that day.

The park is located at 199 Park Road 52 in Stonewall, located off U.S. 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg.

Go to tpwd.texas.gov or call (830) 644-2252 for more information. Park entrance is free.

editor@thepicayune.com

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