It’s been a busy week for the Ardmore Parks Department. Tuesday they held the Christmas Market and tree lighting in Central Park, and now they are busy preparing for Santa’s arrival.
From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night only, Santa Claus will be in town for Santa’s Workshop. Located at the end of the Festival of Lights, the workshop allows families to come together to make crafts, hear a good story, buy snacks from Mrs. Claus’ Bakery and of course meet Santa.
Recreation Director Tes Stewart said the team has been busy making treats and getting the workshop ready since Wednesday morning.
“As you’re driving out of the Festival of Lights you can turn into our workshop,” Stewart said as she decorated a Rice Krispie treat like a reindeer. “We’ll have some crafts out for the kids, and they’ll all be able to write letters to Santa. Then they’ll all get a certificate from him telling them if they are naughty or nice right away.”
Director Teresa Ervin said the workshop also serves as a donation drop off for Toys for Tots.
“We have a big box set up for Toys for Tots,” Ervin said as she turned white chocolate covered Oreos into snowmen. “People can come with a toy or make a monetary donation to the program if they would like.”
Another exciting feature of the event is a nightly door prize. They will draw for the prize at the end of the evening and contact the winner by phone. Ervin said this year’s prize will be something active the entire family can enjoy together.
As the team inside decorated snack items, the maintenance team was busy transforming their shop into the workshop itself. Che Russell said the process lasts most of the day on Wednesday and Thursday. It involves moving out all the equipment, sweeping out the shop, then setting up all the decorations. However it’s a good time because everyone pitches in.
“It’s fun this time of year because everyone gets to work together,” Russell said. “Usually during the summer and springtime everyone is split up working all over town, but now we’re all here together working on the shop and lights.”
Another crucial part of the workshop are local youth who serve as Santa’s helpers. This year 12-year-old Anthony Hodge and his sister will both be helping out. They came to the workshop as small children and are excited to get to experience it again from the other side.
“The main thing I remember is driving through the lights up towards it,” Hodge said. “It’s going to be fun to see what things I can remember because I don’t recall too much about it.”