With the success of last year’s Christmas in Clay County, the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce is ready to expand on the downtown lighting project.
“This community project gives people a reason to stay home, to celebrate with their families, and to shop locally during the holidays,” said Linda Burleson, chairperson for the Clay County Christmas committee.
In 2011, the chamber completed phase one of the lighting project, installing Christmas lights on the 1884 Courthouse, erecting a community Christmas tree on the bandstand and wrapping the courthouse lampposts in lights. Phase one was funded through individual donations and a gift from the Bryant Edwards Foundation.
This year, the chamber hopes to complete phase two by working out from the courthouse.
“With additional lighting scheduled for 2012, the Chamber’s aim is to not just invite the residents of Clay County to celebrate together at home,” said Burleson, “but to attract visitors to our community, with hopes that they will inject a boost to the economy by staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, shopping at our retailers, buying food and gas, and possibly encouraging relocation.”
Members of the Clay County Christmas committee met Thursday with Jeff Trykoski of Illumimax. Trykoski design the lighting system for the courthouse, and has laid out a master plan for the entire square.
Phase two involves wrapping trunks and limbs of trees on the courthouse lawn by means of underground electrical wiring and expanding the outdoor sound system to improve its capabilities.
The chamber of commerce has approximately 50 percent of the funds required to complete phase two, and is encouraging “anyone that shares the vision” to contribute through donations.
Clay County Christmas is scheduled for Dec. 1, and includes a lighted parade, food vendors, music and more. Work on the lighting expansion will be completed in November.
“If we create a reason for people to stay home instead of traveling to other communities where they spend their dollars, our local economy and county pride can do nothing but grow,” said Betty Ellsworth, executive director of the chamber of commerce.
Donations can be submitted to the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 75, Henrietta, Texas 76365, or dropped off at the chamber caboose, located at the intersection of Main and Omega streets in Henrietta.