Santa and all his crew will again be at the Crossroads Arena on Saturday for the eighth straight year, according to Tracey Moore, Magnolia Regional Health Center's Executive CEO and Magnolia Foundation Coordinator.
Saint Nick's visit is just one part of MRHC’s Winter Wonderland event which has been a tradition since 2005.
The fun starts at 10 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m.
“Santa's village will be set up for people to enjoy and to promote a little bit of Christmas cheer,” Moore said. “Our community counts on us a lot, so we love doing this to help give back.”
Giving back is a key reason for the event. The Winter Wonderland will be free for all those who attend, however, there is just one catch.
“We just ask people to bring at least one canned good, if not more, when they come in,” added Moore. “Collecting these items helps us give to the AMEN Food Pantry. Last year we had a truck full of canned goods and we hope to do the same again this year.”
Last year, thousands of folks filled the arena for the event, and hundreds of dollars was raised, along with other monies donated, according to Moore.
“Obviously, any money made or donated is a big help,” said Moore. “All of our workers who help in each area are all volunteers. They aren't expecting to get any monetary rewards, they just do it because they care.”
Numerous activities are planned revolving around Santa's Village.
The hospital will provide photos with Santa and with Rudolph at Santa's Reindeer Barn.
Other fun things to do includes:
• Snacks, treats and goodies at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen & Santa’s Sweet Shop
• Holiday crafts for children at Santa's Workshop
• Mini-train rides at Santa's Express Train Station
• Kids GET Fit activity at Elf Exercise Park. Inflatable jumpers and a show by an ice carver is also slated at the park.
• The North Pole Mail-room will be the site were children can write and mail their letters to Santa.
A silent auction of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, holiday wreaths and holiday decor donated by local businesses will also take place. All proceeds from the silent auction benefit the Magnolia Foundation.
All children must be accompanied by an adult at Winter Wonderland.
Those that attend are asked to enter through the front entrance of the arena.