For residents in Henderson, it is about fellowship of community. According to Mayor Jack McCoy, there are several events on tap this weekend to celebrate Christmas in town.
On Saturday, the Henderson Christmas parade will take place at 5 p.m. with line-up slated for 4:30 p.m. Santa Claus will make an appearance in the parade as well as several 4-H groups and community organizations. Following the parade, Santa will head toward the Henderson Community Building for the Toys and Treats with Santa Claus event, which will begin at 6 p.m.
According to McCoy, the Toys and Treats tradition began in the 1980s and then was discontinued before being brought back in 1997. Residents in town raise money throughout the year for the program.
“We raise money year-round with the community center activities and all proceeds go toward our Christmas,” McCoy said.
He added that all children, regardless of income, receive two toys during the event. According to McCoy, 485 children attended Toys and Treats last year, and he said that he expects the number to rise this year due to the economy. All children in the area are welcome to attend the event, which McCoy described as a way to show youth that the community cares for them.
In addition to Toys and Treats, Henderson’s annual free community dinner will be on Sunday at the community building. According to McCoy, the dinner is open to everyone. He described the dinner as a place to share in fellowship as well as celebrate the season.
“(The dinner) brings a lot of people together,” he said.
For those who are unable to attend the dinner, such as shut-ins and the elderly, carry-out meals will be available.
“It is good to let people know that the community does stuff for them especially with the economy,” McCoy said. “This is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and for us to give the gift of our love (to the community).”