Santa is in Barry County. I can see him nearly everywhere I go. During the early morning hours on Dec. 1, I saw him driving down Main Street, stopping at electric poles to check connections to ensure all of Cassville's Main Street snowflakes would be lighted for the Cassville Christmas Parade that evening. How lucky Cassville is to have a mayor who takes such pride in his community. Not only has he taken the helm at our city offices and squelched an escalating sense of division in our community, but he volunteers for community events and leads the dedicated members of Barry Electric Cooperative.
I have also seen Santa at various holiday events held around the Cassville community over the last few weeks. On Dec. 5, Santa's helpers at Security Abstract offered the community their famous holiday spread, and the Cassville School District, led by jolly R-4 Board President John Sullivan, provided a phenomenal Christmas meal on Dec. 7. Today (Wednesday) Herrin Animal Hospital will provide community members with piping hot chili and collect toys in hopes of helping each Barry County child experience a magical Christmas morning. This Thursday, Santa's elves will gather at the Cassville United Methodist Church to pack the toys collected through the Barry County OACAC Neighborhood Center's Share Your Christmas program, which will serve 400 children this year. On Friday, community members will also be invited to share in the spirit of giving as Freedom Bank's Christmas elves host their annual holiday event.
Glimpses of Ol' Saint Nick have also been caught at the Christmas Show, at holiday parades across the county and in local businesses posing for photos with area children. I wonder if he realizes how much joy he brings to youngsters and parents at each of the events he attends. Santa is truly special for giving up his free time, which we all know is very precious during this time of year, to take part in these events.
If you haven't seen Santa this year, take another look around. Kris Kringle is everywhere.