Santa Claus is coming to town, and he has temporarily relocated his workshop to downtown Henderson!

Santa called on two of his local believers and volunteers, Marcia Parrott and Dee Thomas, to help prepare for his arrival, and the duo spent last week putting the finishing touches on Santa’s Workshop, which is located at 413 Main St., in the old barbershop.

Santa's Workshop officially opened for viewing on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, viewing the workshop will be through the windows only.

Santa Claus is seated upon a beautiful wooden chair as he peruses and puts the finishing touches on his “Naughty or Nice” list, and you might even see some elves dropping in to help. Icicles and snowflakes hang from the ceiling, and a miniature Christmas village fills the barbershop shelves.

“I honestly think there will be something for everyone to look through the window and remember their childhood,” Parrott said.

No workshop is complete without toys, and Santa brought quite a few along, all wrapped for the holidays!

Parrott, Thomas and others donated many of the decorations that fill Santa’s Workshop. The beautiful and elaborate Christmas village was provided by Liz High, and Loren Edberg contributed the exterior decorations.

An I Spy list has been compiled, and sheets will be available at Wagar’s, Heart of Henderson, and in the white mailbox outside the Henderson Independent.

Each window on the building will offer a different perspective with new things to see. Can you find a moose baking cookies and Santa’s sleigh?

“We want every window they look through to see something different,” Thomas said.

Parrott said the traditional River City Christmas had “run its course” and the Henderson Chamber group wanted to change things up this year. Ideally, they would have liked to have in-person visits with Santa Claus, but the surge of COVID-19 cases made that impossible this year.

However, Santa Claus will be coming to town on Dec. 11, and the Henderson Fire Department has graciously agreed to drive him up and down town on a fire truck, beginning at 5 p.m. There is no need to leave your property, as Santa will be riding up and down every street at least twice. So if you miss him the first time around, stay put.

Does your child have a letter he or she would like to send to Santa Claus? A large red Letters to Santa mailbox is now outside the old barbershop building. Any letters dropped in that mailbox will be shared with the Henderson Independent for inclusion in its holiday edition before being sent to Santa’s North Pole address.

Another new change this year is the addition of the holiday lights contest. Anyone who is still interested in participating has until Nov. 28 to sign up (entry forms at Bender’s True Value), and the lights display must be up by Dec. 1 and remain up through Dec. 25.

Judging will take place from Dec. 1-21, and there will be a People’s Choice category. Anyone who would like to cast a vote for their favorite lights display should do so by dropping their vote in the red mailbox that is also used for Letters to Santa outside the barbershop.

Next year, the Chamber is hoping Santa can open his workshop up to the community and have children visit in person. In the meantime, the Chamber is open to suggestions for more changes.

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