100 Santas converge on Clare

Santa and some of his many associates take a well-deserved break after visiting with youngsters.

Santa and some of his many associates take a well-deserved break after visiting with youngsters.

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

With less than two months left before Christmas, nearly 100 Santas from all over the United States and Canada, from California, Hawaii, Florida, Colorado, Georgia and nearby states including Indiana, Ohio and Illinois all came to Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm, just south of Clare last weekend. Some even traveled from as far away as Denmark, Germany and Norway.

They all converged on Clare to attend the fifth annual Christmas kickoff, the Santa Gathering at the Reindeer Farm last Sunday, located at 2706 East Stevenson Lake Road.

The event gave the visiting Santas a chance to work and interact with the reindeer and “brush up on their reindeer handling skills,” said Dave Aldrich, whose son Dan and wife Corrie own and operate the reindeer farm just west of old U.S. 27.

While at the farm, the gathering of Santas and Mrs. Santas spent some time visiting with each other, talking about what’s new including new toys for the season. They also discussed ways to promote Santa visits at local stores and malls.

And, they spent the rest of the day visiting with, and entertaining all the children who came to the event. “Of course we let the youngsters know that only one in the group is the ‘real’ Santa,” Dave said. “All the rest are his special helpers. Then they try to pick out the ‘real’ Santa…”

Events during the day included crafts for the kids and visits with the reindeer, alpaca and Scottish Highland cows on the farm, and there was Christmas cookies and hot chocolate to enjoy along with browsing through the Christmas gift shop.

Some of the Santas also made a trip into town and quite a few stopped for more goodies at Cops and Doughnuts and visited the downtown area, before they had to head home to get ready for their annual trip around the world to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve.

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