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Mickey’s Christmas Yard gives back to the community

The tradition of “Henry’s Christmas Yard” in Moline is carried on.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:18 PM CST
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ORION, Ill. (KWQC) - An Orion man is giving back to the community by using Christmas inflatables to help collect donations for the Orion Food Bank. It’s a tradition carried on from “Henry’s Christmas Yard” in Moline.

RAIG - MICKEY’S CHRISTMAS YARD, “This year we’ll have numerous characters including Mickey and Minnie, Santa Claus, the Mandalorian and a bunch of other characters here as well,” says Craig from Mickey’s Christmas Yard.

What started out as nine inflatables last year at “Mickey’s Christmas Yard,” has now grown to 40 inflatables this year.

Mickey is named after the owner’s dog, similar to “Henry’s Christmas Yard” in Moline.

“Just like with anything, sometimes it can be a struggle doing it. But the minute you see the kids’ eyes light up and see their reaction to the characters, it makes it all worth it,” said Craig.

The kids’ reaction is what motivated Santa’s helpers to continue the “Henry’s” tradition.

“When Henry’s Christmas Yard decided that they weren’t going to do inflatables anymore, we kind of looked at each other and were like, we need to carry on the torch in Henry’s honor,” said Heather, one of Santa’s helpers.

Similar to “Henry’s,” “Mickey’s” is accepting non-perishable donations as a way to give back to the community. All donations are going to the Orion Food Bank.

This is the second year for Mickey’s Christmas Yard. And new this year, Santa’s Workshop. Kids can come by to visit Santa, and even enter into a raffle to win a new bike. Proceeds of the raffle go to gifts the kids can have when they visit Santa.

Also new this year, a coloring contest for kids.

“They mail in the coloring sheet that they can find on Mickey’s Christmas Yard Facebook page. And then what they do, is all the characters will pick the best one that they choose, and that kid will receive a gift from Mickey’s Christmas Yard,” said Craig.

For Craig and Heather, this is all about the children.

“I like watching everyone smile. It brings hope, love, and it brings everybody together. Especially right now. We need to be together.” “Seeing a child smile is more than anything. It means the world to me. It fills me with such joy,” said Heather.

Plans are already in place to make “Mickey’s Christmas Yard” bigger and better in the future.

“We’re looking at adding about 50,000 to 100,000 lights next year. As well as making it all go to music next year as well.”

You and your family can visit “Mickey’s Christmas Yard” each weekend through December 18th from 6 p-m to 8:30 p-m.. It’s located at 509 13th Avenue in Orion.

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