Henderson celebrates 58 years

The city of Henderson plans to celebrate its 58th birthday by hosting the annual Heritage Parade & Festival on Saturday.

"It’s inspirational to see the community come together on such a historic and memorable day for Henderson," said Andrea Primo, director of the Cultural Arts and Tourism D epartment.

The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. in front of the Henderson Convention Center, 200 S. Water St., with a breakfast served by Mayor Andy Hafen and the City Council .

At 10 a.m., all eyes will be on Water Street as the annual parade makes its way from Ocean Avenue to Victory Road.

The theme of this year’s parade is "Henderson Chocolatiers for 30 Years," with representatives of Ethel M Chocolates serving as parade grand marshal .

"There was a time when it was just Ethel M and nothing around us," said Jennifer Gudgel, director of gourmet chocolate at Ethel M. "We got to watch Henderson being built around us."

Gudgel said it is only fitting that the two would celebrate together.

Nicole Johnson, a communications specialist with the city , said Henderson decided to have Ethel M as the grand marshal because it is in its 30th year.

"We wanted to commemorate this huge milestone with them," Johnson said . "We thought the Heritage Parade, a celebration of Henderson’s history, traditions and community spirit, would be a great way to show our appreciation for their dedicated service, commitment to the community, as well as being an active conservationist and unique attraction in Henderson."

Ethel M will lead the parade , handing out sample chocolates along the street.

More than 100 parade entries are scheduled to participate, from floats and marching bands to special interest vehicles and equestrian groups .

All parade entries are being judged on three categories — incorporation of the theme, creativity and overall appeal — with first-, second- and third-place prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500.

An additional entry could win $500 for the People’s Choice Award. Parade-goers can cast votes through text messages .

Brenda Larsen is excited to see her dancers from Desert Dynamite School of Dance participate in the parade.

"We have been doing this for about 30 years," Larsen said.

This year, Larsen will have about 100 dancers , from 3 years old to adult , dancing down Water Street to the song "That’s What Dreams are Made of."

"Because everyone dreams of chocolate," Larsen said.

The day also is set to include a festival in the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water St., and a classic car show.

People can enjoy entertainment throughout the day featuring Brazilian capoeira, taiko drummers, belly dancing, Bulgarian dance and other performances from around the world.

In addition , the city is featuring international foods, including fish and chips from Ireland, satay from Japan and stuffed grape leaves from Turkey.

"We will have a variety of food options for people to choose from," Johnson said. "This will also have an international flair with many countries represented from Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America. Turkey is new to the event this year."

For more information, visit h endersonlive.com.

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

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