Campground Plans Large Drive-Through Light Show
Christmas will be a month-long celebration this year in Santa Claus, Ind., a village famous for its name and ho-ho spirit, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.
In past years activities were packed into one weekend.
"This is going to be the event we've always wanted but never had," said Philip Koch, president of Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, coordinating the celebration with Kevin Klosowski of Santa's Candy Castle. Activities will begin Nov. 20.
A major addition will be a 1.2-mile "Family Christmas Light Adventure" display at Lake Rudolph. It will feature 20- to 30-foot-tall scenes, still being custom built, that tell the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
"We're told it will be the largest drive-through light show at a campground in North America and the only one with a storyline," said Dave Lovell, marketing director for Lake Rudolph. "It all will be LED lit, won't use that much electricity."
He said the campground expects to involve a charity and charge admission. Visitors will have the option of staying in their vehicle or renting a golf cart.
Other events during the expanded celebration will include a Nov. 20 tree lighting ceremony, a pre-Christmas dinner at Santa's Lodge, a puppet show, Christmas Karaoke every Friday and Saturday, an early December parade and contests ranging from Christmas tree decorating and fruit cake eating to gingerbread house building.
Besides the lights at Lake Rudolph, the annual Festival of Lights tour of homes will continue the second and third Saturdays of December in nearby Christmas Lake Village.
There also will be chestnut roasting and performances by area choirs at the Candy Castle, a possible weekend craft show at Lake Rudolph and a wine tasting at Christmas Lake Golf Course.
"We want to help everyone in town," Koch said, "churches, schools, charities, businesses and individuals. We want families to come here and create wonderful memories, to make people happy, raise money for charities and businesses and grow the town of Santa Claus."
Meanwhile, Koch (whose family owns Holiday World & Splashin' Safari theme park) expects to open the new Santa Claus Christmas Store by Labor Day in Kringle Place shopping center here. It's being developed by HO HO HOldings, which owns the campground.
It's described as the largest store of its kind in the region and will carry gift items, indoor and outdoor Christmas lights, wreaths, tree trimmings, nativities, Christmas yard art, home decor, collectibles, candy and cookies.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas children will be able to have their photographs taken with St. Nick inside the store.
Previously, while discussing the new store, Koch said the goal "is to attract people from all over the world to Santa Claus, Ind., no matter the season."