Santa Claus came a few days early to Lenoir. He stopped by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center Thursday night to bring hundreds of gifts to local children.
Thanks to more than $700 in cash in donations, and as much or more in toys, staff at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center were able to bring a little more Christmas cheer to Lenoir. Staff held the latest Santa Claus Is Coming To Town event at the center on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. The festivities started at 5:00 pm.
"It was a lot of fun," MLK Jr. Center Manager Lester Whittington said. "We have Santa. We sing Christmas songs with the kids, and we have free toys. It's always a big hit in the community."
Members of the Black Googlers Network (BGN) volunteered to help direct the children, and they also donated a lot of gifts for the event.
When the children entered the gym, their first present was a candy-filled candy cane. After taking a seat on the floor, the children sang several Christmas songs. They belted out Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad, and more. When Santa Claus arrived, his elves played Jackson 5's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Santa waved and said "Ho, Ho, Ho, Hello," to the children, and took his seat at the front of the gym.
The kids picked a free present from the hundreds of toys and games spread out on the gym floor. There were so many that each child took home two gifts this year. Plus, parents were able to take home free grab bags, mittens and caps, and books from Caldwell County Smart Start.
Each child also received a raffle ticket. Everyone had a chance to win free 43-inch television, Baby Einstein musical toy, kids' tablet and headphones, and a Nintendo Switch Lite.
"I want to thank everyone who donated money and toys, and I want to thank all the City staff and the BGN members for helping Santa," Whittington said. "We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Children pick out their gift during the Santa Claus Is Coming To Town event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023.
A volunteer leads kids in singing Christmas songs.
A young girl talks to Santa Claus.
Members of the Black Googlers Network volunteer to help Santa on Thursday night.
Caldwell County Smart Start staff brought plenty of candy and books to help fill Christmas stockings.
About the MLK Jr. Center
The MLK Jr. Center is located at 313 Greenhaven Dr. in Lenoir. The center covers almost 10 acres and provides many recreation opportunities including:
- lighted baseball/softball field
- indoor and outdoor basketball courts
- game room
- computer lab
- tennis courts
- and more!
Click the following link for more information about the facility, MLK Jr. Center.