Chamber to host Soup and Santa event to raise funds for Festival of Lights

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite

The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a new event this year to raise funds for the Festival of Lights. The new fundraiser will be called Soup and Santa and will feature a variety of soups from restaurants across Ardmore, and Santa Claus himself will be onsite for photos. It will replace the annual auction for 2021.

Ardmore Chamber of Commerce President Mita Bates said the chamber decided against the auction because of COVID related issues. In addition to continued outbreaks of the virus, merchants are also still recovering from lost revenue. The chamber did not feel it was right to ask them for donations of items for the auction. 

However some businesses have already come forward to express their interest in donating items, so there will be a limited number of things available in a silent auction.

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Bates said Soup and Santa will take place on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Ardmore Convention Center. While they are still working out the exact start and end times, Bates said the event will be more come and go than the auction was. Santa will be there all evening and the chamber is working on getting some entertainment from local schools.

"Even though it's a little early, Santa is going to be at our event taking photos — in plenty of time for Christmas Cards," Bates said. "So we're really encouraging families to come up and get their pictures taken."

Tickets for the event will be $20 per adult and $5 per child and will include all you can eat soups along with sides such as bread and crackers and a desert.

"Almost all of our restaurants have a signature soup or a variety of soups that they rotate, so this will be a great opportunity to give them a try," Bates said. "So you can find your favorite soup or sample two or three to find something new."

As with the auction, the funds raised at Soup and Santa will be used for the maintenance, upkeep and addition of new installations to the Festival of Lights at Ardmore Regional Park which will be opening for the season on Saturday, Nov. 20.