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Lights to brighten chamber’s Clay County Christmas


Lighting designer Jeff Trykoski of Illumimax LLC and Kinneth Sluder, courthouse custodian, string new lights on the stars atop the courthouse dome Friday. The courthouse will be lit with more than 5,000 LED lights and the lawn will feature a 20-foot community Christmas tree as part of the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce's Clay County Christmas event scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3.

The Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the county’s Christmas celebration on Saturday, Dec. 3, on the courthouse square in downtown Henrietta.

This year’s celebration expands greatly on the past “Holiday Happenings” lighted parade by featuring such additions as lighting the entire courthouse, erecting a 20-foot community Christmas tree with lights and decorations, adding a speaker system around the square for the parade announcers and holiday music and wrapping all the light poles with lit evergreen garlands and bows.

The evening’s event will be begin at 5pm with the Cub Scouts “sled races, followed by the annual lighted parade, a grand lighting ceremony and tree dedication at the courthouse, followed by  a visit and photos with Santa.

The Chamber enlisted the professional designing services of Jeff Trykoski, owner of Illumimax, LLC, of Frisco, whose other works include designing the large-scale lighting display for Frisco Square and the lighting displays found at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine.   Phase 1 of Trykoski’s design for the “Clay County Christmas” project includes over 5,000 LED lights for the courthouse and square, over 18,000 LED lights on the triple-lit community tree, and an outdoor Bose speaker/microphone system.

“If the Chamber is going to do this, we’re going to do it right!” said Kay Lynn Gonzenbach, chamber president and one of the visionaries of the project. “We want our residents to be proud of what our county has to offer, and we hope this project will attract tourists during the holiday season to our wonderful community.”

A capital funds campaign was initiated during the late summer, and the chamber of commerce received donations from individuals, families and businesses in excess of $30,000 for the project.  Additionally, the Bryant Edwards Foundations made a sizable donation that allowed Phase 1 to not only be completed, but allowed parts of Phase 2 to come to fruition.

The Chamber and the Clay County officials have agreed to partner on the on-going project.  Judge Kenneth Liggett and the Commissioners green-lighted the scope of the project and has also supplied the workforce to complete the installation. Courthouse custodian Kinneth Sluder and two Clay County Jail trustees installed the lights.

For more information about Clay County Christmas, please contact the chamber of commerce office at (940) 538-5261 or by e-mail at claycountychamber@sbcglobal.net.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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