Clay County Christmas will go on as planned Saturday night despite forecasted temperatures in the 20s. The Dec. 7 event, sponsored by the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce, features an illuminated float parade and the lighting of the Bryant Edwards Foundation Community Christmas Tree, courthouse and local businesses.
The event still faces the possibility of postponement if an expected winter storm continues into Saturday. Current forecast predict freezing precipitation to end Friday afternoon.
The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with the Henrietta Cub Scouts sled races, and continues with live musical performances followed by the annual Lighted Christmas Parade. Shortly after the parade, Santa and the children will lead the countdown to the Grand Lighting Ceremony, and he, Mrs. Claus, and his helpful elf will be available afterwards for visits and photos.
In 2011, Phase 1 of Jeff Trykoski’s design for the “Clay County Christmas” project included 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. In 2012, Phase 2 incorporated the addition of 50,400 lights to 20 of the trees located around the Square, installing underground wiring from each lit tree to a central control panel, installing strobe lights to the community Christmas tree, and adding 4 additional speakers to the outer perimeter of the Courthouse Square. This year we have proceeded with a modified version of Phase 3 to include the newly installed lights on the merchants’ buildings immediately fronting the square.
A Phase 3 capital funds campaign was initiated during the late summer, and the Chamber has received donations in excess of $20,000. Included in that amount is a generous matching grant of $12,500 from the Bryant Edwards Foundation to continue this project.
Paul Bennett and Robbie Wilson have worked diligently to complete Phase 3. The Clay County officials have been extremely supportive of this community project and Sheriff Kenny Lemons has provided jail trustees to assists with the project.
Parade entry forms can be obtained by calling the chamber office or by downloading one from the Chamber website at www.hccchamber.org. Click on Chamber events – Clay County Christmas. The VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary will serve lunch from 11 am to 2 pm at the Holman Center.
The Chamber is still accepting much needed and appreciated donations, memorials, or honorariums to support this event. For more information about Clay County Christmas, contact the Chamber office at 940-538-5261 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.