Hispanics United for Perry will hold its annual Las Posadas Celebration on Dec. 16.
The celebration will begin with an ecumenical church service at First Christian Church, 1224 Lucinda St., at 6 p.m. After the ceremony, there will be a procession and caroling down Second Street. A dinner of pork birria, rice and beans, will be served starting at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1100 Third St. A free will offering will be collected to support HUP scholarships for graduating high school seniors.
Las Posadas is a traditional Hispanic Christmas celebration that re-enacts Mary and Joseph’s search for a safe place at the inn (posada) for the baby Jesus to be born. The holy couple travels from inn to inn, only to find each one full. Eventually they are offered posada, or lodging, in a stable, where Mary gives birth to the baby Jesus. In the celebration, participants walk through the streets of town carrying candles. Youths are chosen to play the role of Mary and Joseph, and lead the procession. The procession stops at various businesses, caroling and asking for shelter. At the last stop, participants are invited inside to share a meal together.
The tradition of las posadas has been celebrated for centuries in Spain, Mexico and Central America. It is a popular festival, a time of expectant joy for celebrants to prepare homes and lives for the Christmas miracle.
The Las Posadas celebration is made possible by the generous donations of Casa de Oro, El Buen Gusto, El Rey Meat Market, Fareway, Hy-Vee and Tyson. Additional assistance provided by Raccoon Valley Bank and Perry Public Library. A special thank you for the assistance and support of the congregations of First Christian Church and First United Methodist Church.
All proceeds from the dinner will support the scholarships awarded by HUP to graduating seniors. We count on the support of the Perry Community in our efforts.  To make a contribution to the HUP scholarships, send contributions earmarked for HUP to Daniel Rivera at Raccoon Valley Bank, 1202 Second St. Perry, IA 50220.