It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Fort Knox warmed a cold night at the post Gazebo Dec. 7. Several parents attended the holiday fueled event with their children in tow to help light the tree, enjoy hot cocoa and tell Santa their Christmas wishes. Many also enjoyed watching ice sculpting, new to the event this year, and listening to some Christmas caroling.

Sharron Caldwell said it was a great event.

"We definitely enjoyed seeing Santa, and the ice sculptures are amazing. ... Overall, it got the kids really excited. It got everybody in the Christmas spirit," Caldwell said. "It definitely set the mood. It feels like Christmas is here, especially with the temperature. ... It definitely set the tone that Christmas is definitely upon us."

Julia Prendergast agreed.

Prendergast said she attended the event for her children's enjoyment and to get into the holiday spirit.

"The festival of
the lights were just beautiful. The kids running up, it was nice. Just old fashion fun," she said.

The ice sculpting was done by Sgt. First Class Joshua Perry of U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

"It was a great event," he said, noting the weather was perfect for ice carving. "It's not too cold that people won't hang out and enjoy it. It's not too warm that the ice melts. ... It looks like a lot of kids are having a great time."

Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Patrick Kaune encouraged folks in attendance to enjoy the holidays, but also asked they remember those who are not home to spend the holidays with their families.

Mark and Brittany Cox attended the tree lighting ceremony, and picked up a tree through the "Trees for Troops" program, sponsored by Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, FedEx and the National Christmas Tree Association. More than 500 trees were offered to active duty service members.

The Cox's little girl Sydney was very excited to be getting a Christmas tree as she enthusiastically said multiple times, "I got a big tree."

Sydney said her daddy picked out the tree, and she really liked it.

"Daddy is going to take it to the car," she said, eager to get it Caution-home.

Brittany said she always had a real Christmas tree growing up: "I just like coming out here and reliving the memories I created, and to try to create those same things for [Sydney]."