Santa and his workshop will soon be magically transported to Ardmore. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1, the entire family is invited to  visit, make crafts, eat snacks, and win a prize.
The workshop will be set up at the end of the Festival of Lights, and Tes Stewart, recreation supervisor at Ardmore Parks and Recreation, explained that those attending must drive through the Festival of Lights to get to the workshop.
“Some people have asked if they can just come to the workshop, but they have to drive through the lights to get to it,” Stewart said. She said that because the traffic only runs one way through the Festival of Lights, it would create too much confusion with people trying to come into the park from the other direction.
Once inside there will be crafts to make as well as a Santa Letter Station.
“The kids can actually write a letter to Santa and then Santa will give them a list back saying if they are on the naughty list or the nice list,” Stewart said. “Of course everyone is usually on the nice list!”
Also available will be homemade snacks in Mrs. Claus’ Bakery. Items on this year’s menu include cookies, brownies, chocolate dipped pretzels, cupcakes and numerous other goodies that the team at Parks and Recreation actually bake themselves.
“We bake the whole week leading up to it,” said Alicia Henry, assistant director of Parks and Recreation. “Everything is generally $2 or less and is cash only.”
“Anything you can think of we bake. Everyone is in the office baking,” Stewart said. “Usually if we sell out of things on Friday we get here really early on Saturday morning and start baking more.”
Another fun element is a door prize that is given away both evenings. Henry described the gift as something that could be enjoyed by the entire family.
“Last year it was a karaoke machine, so we’ll give something big away each night,” Stewart said. “When they come in they can fill out a little slip that goes into a box, and we draw at the end of the night. So you don’t have to be here to win.”
To add even more fun, someone from the library will be there both nights reading Christmas stories. Families also get the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer by bringing a toy donation for Toys for Tots.
Henry said the event has been incredibly popular and even won an Award of Excellence at the 2018 Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society Conference.
“Last year we broke a record and had 1,700 people in over the two nights,” Henry said.