Clay County is helping Texoma ring in the holiday season this weekend. For more than 16 years, the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce has hosted Holiday Happenings -- an evening of lights, songs, spirit, and Santa. Vice President Kaylynn Gonzenbach calls it a kickoff to Christmas.
"The camaraderie of the season, it's just good fun. Good county fun," she said.
Aside from the decorations downtown, the volunteer church choir singing carols, and a visit from the jolly old elf himself, the biggest part of the night will be the lighted parade.
"The emphasis is it's lighted, so we'll have people on horseback that their horses are lit up. They've got lights strung around the horses, and vehicles that are lit up," said Chamber of Commerce Board Member Linda Burleson.
The courthouse has some decorations, and the Chamber invites nearby businesses to put up their own lights and encourages them to stay open later, if possible. With 26 floats registered from around the county, the evening can be an opportunity to get dollars pumped into the local economy.
Even though hundreds of people will fill the streets around the downtown square tomorrow night, the Chamber is hoping to make Holiday Happenings even bigger in years to come.
"We're hoping to have a design plan of lights that will really make this courthouse shine," Gonzenbach said.
Today some preschoolers had a run-through on the Kiwanis Club float. With all that goes on at Holiday Happenings, everyone's favorite part is sure to be different.
"I love floats. I've seen some on movies," said pre-schooler Jackson Payne.
"My favorite is the animal shelter. They dress up the dogs," Gonzenbach said.
"It's watching the kids. It really is," Burleson said.
The Chamber of Commerce is spearheading an effort to help preserve memories from the lighted parade. They're asking anyone who takes photos to share them with the Chamber.
The parade starts at 6:00 Saturday.