Henderson is sprucing up for WinterFest

With the theme of an "Old-Fashioned Christmas Delight," WinterFest returns to Henderson to celebrate the holiday season.

The three-day event is scheduled for Dec. 13-15 at the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water St. Admission is free.

For the second year, the city is hoping to host its evening light parade, which is scheduled at 5 p.m. Dec. 15.

"Everyone loves the nighttime parade," said Nicole Johnson, a spokeswoman for the city of Henderson cultural arts and tourism department. "I think it brings more of the holiday spirit with the Christmas lights."

Johnson said about 60 floats are entered into the parade.

For the first time, the student council at Brown Middle School is participating

Brianne McPhee, a teacher at Brown and student council adviser, said the parade should have a good showing of students throughout the school, including cheerleaders and the marching band.

Seventh-graders and council members Courtney Couey and Morgan Eilley were excited to have the opportunity to work on it.

"We were told to think about what reminds us of an old-fashioned Christmas," Courtney said. "We thought about a gingerbread house."

The girls brought a sketch to McPhee of their ideas for a float.

The council is working on Saturdays to construct the float, including its giant candy pieces for the house.

"It will have everything you could imagine being on a gingerbread house," McPhee said.

Parents of students are planning to donate materials to work on the float and to drive the float at the parade.

The team is taking a playhouse and painting it brown to create the gingerbread house.

"We want to work as hard as we can to get it done," Morgan said.

For several years, the Silver State Miniature Horse Club has participated in Henderson parades from WinterFest to the Heritage Day Parade.

Patrick McConnell, who works with the group, said it plans to return for this year's parade.

"We usually have 20 to 25 horses in each parade," McConnell said. "The kids just love them."

McConnell said in addition to the float, he will be dressing up the horses in decorative garb.

Also returning is the Greyhound Pet Adoption of Las Vegas.

"The city of Henderson has been great to work with," said Dawn Barr, who works with the organization. "We have been there for four years."

Whether they are riding on the float or walking in front, the greyhounds are also expected to be in holiday costumes.

"We always get a big reception from the crowd," Barr said. "People enjoy seeing the dogs."

Because of their lack of body fat, greyhounds tend to be more temperature- sensitive, Barr said.

"It is usually too hot to put them in the Heritage Day Parade," she said.

Barr said the city has worked with the group to make sure the float is one of the first to go by.

"They also don't put us around a band," Barr said. "The dogs love it, but they can be skittish at times."

The Henderson Symphony Orchestra is expected to kick off WinterFest with its "Sound of the Seasons" concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 inside the Henderson Convention Center, 200 S. Water St.

With guest conductor David Weiller, the orchestra is planning to play holiday classics.

The event continues from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14 with the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Santa is also expected to arrive that evening.

From noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 15, people can enjoy craft vendors, a gingerbread house display and holiday activities.

For more information, visit hendersonlive.com.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 702-387-5201.


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