So…..what do you do when you wake up on a drizzly Friday morning and want to do something interesting and unusual? Well, you go to a Santa Claus convention, of course!!!
You read it correctly – no need to go back and reread that last sentence….this weekend was a very special weekend, indeed. Hundreds of Santas and Mrs. Clauses arrived in our little village to participate in a Santa Claus conference/convention! Why Albion, you ask? Well, Albion, NY is home to the most revered Santa ever – Charles W. Howard, who founded the very first internationally renowned Santa Claus School and Christmas Park and was the first (and for many years the only) official Santa of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! How cool is that? (I wrote a blog post about Charlie Howard a few years ago – click here to read it)
The Santas and Mrs. Clauses participated in various events and conference presentations over a three day period. I was lucky enough to be able to attend some of them and meet several of the Santas. It was so exciting! On Friday morning as I was driving around town, I spotted several cars with Santas at the wheel and in the passenger seats headed to their destinations for one event or another. The first sighting was a string of about 4-5 cars with multiple Santas in each car — I got so excited (it was a good thing I was stopped at a traffic light at the time) — I swelled all up almost to the point of bursting, clapped my hands, got tears in my eyes, and called out loud, “oh, WOW, a convoy of Santas!” What a thrill to see! Then, it seemed like everywhere I went, I spotted a few Santas – even in places that weren’t part of the programs they were participating in…..like at the Village House Restaurant when I popped in for lunch on Saturday and in the Albion First Baptist Church when I was on a Stained Glass Window Tour.
So…..here are a few of the well over 100 photos I took:
At the Elks Lodge
The Elks Lodge was the home of the Santa vendors – booths where the Santas (and us regular folks) could purchase all things Santa!
They came in vehicles befitting a true Santa
A portrait of the Beloved Charlie Howard
And they could buy all kinds of “stuff”
At the International Peace Garden Dedication
One of the events some of the Santas participated in was a dedication of an official International Peace Garden in honor of the War of 1812 and the significant involvement and impact residents in this area had on the war. A previously dedicated International Peace Garden for the War of 1812 is located at Brown’s Berry Patch – land owned by the descendants of Bathshua Brown and her 12 children. Bathshua is said to have fought off the British during the War of 1812 and even captured a British sea captain in defense of her land. (I mentioned Bathshua in a blog post I wrote a while back about the history of Point Breeze – click here to read it) This newly dedicated International Peace Garden is located on the former homestead of John Proctor, known as the Paul Revere of the Ridge because he rode on horseback along the Ridge Road warning settlers that the British were coming during the War of 1812.
John Proctor’s log cabin is no longer there, but an historic brick home has recently been restored and is the home of an Artist Co-op called Fair Haven Treasures. The International Peace Garden is located on the lawn in front of the building and is in the shape of an artist’s palette.
The Color Guard is the Claus Clan – a group of Santas who honor their Scottish heritage
Santa’s Drill Team – a group from Florida – often participate in historical events and read the legend of a huge American Flag that flew over the fighting during the War of 1812 and how Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” in honor of that flag
The Claus Clan with Ray and Linda Burke, owners of Fair Haven Treasures
Miscellaneous Photos of Santas
Me with Santa
Oh, dear……is he adding me to his “Naughty” list???
This Santa traveled all the way from Norway!!!
These Santas came from the New England area looking like they are on vacation
Just hanging out sharing Santa stories
This is an auditorium full of Santas singing Christmas Carols……I thought I’d died and went to heaven!!!
A Santa and his Mrs. Claus here from the Hoosier State
I loved this Santa and Mrs. Claus’ outfits – both hand made by Mrs. Claus – they were from Michigan
I found that Santas LOVE to have their photos taken!
Albion’s own Mrs. Claus – Valerie Elwell Rush with the Santa from Norway and her Dad….and a few other Santas photo-bombing them!
(photo courtesy of Valerie Rush)
Valerie Elwell Rush (Albion’s Mrs. Claus) with a Santa selling handmade hats
(photo courtesy of Valerie Rush)
Santas gathering at the Orleans County Courthouse for a group photo
(photo courtesy of Sarah Brigham)
A wonderful group photo (photo courtesy of Sarah Brigham)
Now……tell me you don’t believe in Santa – I’ll hunt you down and slap you! hehehe
For more photos and coverage of the Santa convention, see these links to articles on The Orleans Hub – not all inclusive – The Hub did a great job of covering the event, so search to find other articles: