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Catawba County celebrates Thanksgiving this week, and several churches invite the community to join in worship and a meal.
Also this week, Santa Claus visits Newton as the city kicks off the holiday season with its annual tree-lighting ceremony.
A laser-light show, the opening of a theater production and a health fair are also on the schedule this week in the county.
For more, read on.
For news throughout the week, visit observernewsonline.com and pick up print editions of The O-N-E at news stands throughout the county.
Catawba Valley Community Collegeâ€™s Diabetes Education Center at Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry will hold a Diabetes Self-Management Fair on Tuesday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Free blood sugar monitoring, and vision, foot and urine screenings will be offered.
The churches of Newton and Conover will gather for Thanksgiving worship on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Grace Reformed UCC Church in Newton.
The Rev. Lutz Keller will preach, and other pastors will lead worship.
Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax will read a Thanksgiving Proclamation as a part of the service.
An offering will go to support ECCCM and the Corner Table.
Everyone is invited to attend.
Augustana Lutheran Church will hold its second annual free ThanksgivingÂ Day breakfast from 7-11 a.m. on Thanksgiving.
The menu will be eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausage, grits, pancakes biscuits, toast, coffee, milk and orange juice.
Augustana is off of U.S. 70 SE behind Krispy Kreme.
Hickory Community Theatre's production of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" begins in the Jeffers Theatre on Friday. For more information, visit hct.org.
Catawba Science Center will begin showing Laser Holidays, a laser-light show, on the dome of its Millholland Planetarium theater at 3:30 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit catawbascience.org.
Newtonâ€™s annual â€śLight Up the Townâ€ť celebration is Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on the courthouse square in downtown Newton.
The event officially kicks off the holiday season with the lighting of thousands of lights in the downtown area, followed by a wide variety of activities for everyone. Santa and his elves will arrive in downtown Newton for free photos with children.
Families can also enjoy a free hayride, courtesy of the Foothills Antique Power Association.
Christmas music will fill the air, with entertainment from a variety of community groups and schools. A variety of concessions will be available that night, including hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, barbecue sandwiches and drinks.