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Santa Claus is coming to town on Dec. 6 but he will not be working alone.

Instead of helpful elves, Santa will instead be joined by hundreds of students, staff and faculty of Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) and staff from the City of Daytona Beach’s Department of Leisure Services who will usher in the 2008 holiday season at the Charles Cherry Sr. Holiday Community Festival in celebration of the memory of the late Charles Cherry, Sr.
The festival was created by B-CU President Dr. Trudie Kibbe-Reed to honor the late Charles Cherry Sr., a former city commissioner in Daytona Beach and a well-known civil rights advocate in Volusia County. Cherry also founded The Daytona Times.

From noon to 3 p.m. at the B-CU football field, B-CU and the City of Daytona Beach will host the 5th Annual Charles W. Cherry Sr. Holiday Community Festival for people of all ages.

“The University is proud to join the City of Daytona Beach in sponsoring the 5th Annual Charles Cherry Community Holiday Festival. It is an event that is consistent with Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s legacy of community outreach and President Reed’s commitment to expand the theme of the Caring Community,” said Dr. Claudette McFadden, director of civic engagement for the school of graduate and professional studies.  “It is our hope that families from across Volusia County will join us.”

The event, which includes free admission, will provide a wide variety of fun activities and entertainment, including pony rides, train rides, hayrides, a Santa’s Village, rock climbing, more than 20 children’s games, an inflatable playground, a DJ, live music, motivational speakers, an educational center, free USTA tennis lessons, golf tips and much more. In the spirit of giving, there will be free gifts for children in need.  Children will also be able to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Santa. 

The Bethune-Cookman Marching Band, Concert Chorale, and cultural dancers are expected to perform. Student athletes will also be on hand for autograph signing.

The B-CU School of Nursing will hold a health fair with free information and screenings for hypertension, sickle cell, HIV/AIDS and obesity. Food and drink will be on sale at reasonable prices through a concession stand provided by the City of Daytona Beach.

“We are grateful to again be part of this event,” said Percy Williamson, director of the City of Daytona Beach’s Department of Leisure Services. Each year the Department of Leisure Services puts in long hours helping to plan as well as setting up and taking down a great many things used to make the festival a success. 

For more information on this event, call 671-3551 or 671-3400.

Office of Public Relations

Public Relations
PH: 386-481-2990

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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