This year, Mrs. Claus joined her hubby (far left) in visiting Austin on Dec. 1 for the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s annual Tree lighting and parade. Last Thursday’s temperatures, compared to recent years, were not so frigid. The 7th annual parade was followed by the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree outside the 15th District Police Station, 5701 W. Madison. Attendees included local officials like state Sen. Kimberly Lightford and 15th District Cmdr. Walter Green (facing page). Chicago R&B singer Ben One (bottom right) also attended to sign autographs for fans. View a slideshow of more photos online at