Photos with Santa Claus by local photographer Bill Avery for the holiday season has become a holiday tradition for many families in the Crossroads area.
Avery remains unsure just how many times he has completed photos of children with Ole St. Nick, but five events at the Magnolia Regional Health Center’s Winter Wonderland and another five at the Crossroads Museum come to his mind.
“It’s just something I enjoy doing,” said Avery, who returned to the Crossroads Museum Board of Directors in September last year.
The photographer thought the return of photos with Santa this holiday season would be a great fundraising idea for the Crossroads Museum, but the retired Corinth resident has several new twists in store for families to consider for participation, he shared.
There will be no long waits in lines. Appointments are required for 10-minute segments the day of the photoshoot during the Red Green Market in the CARE Garden on Saturday, Nov. 20.
An elaborate display for the photo session will feature a new Tailgating with Santa theme inside the antique fire truck display structure, complete with a bright red 1951 Chevy pickup, large wrapped Christmas packages and a lighted tree in the pickup bed. Christmas toys, a new bicycle and snow as a backdrop will add to the photo session.
Families are invited to make an appointment on Sunday, Nov. 21 from 1-4 p.m. to have portraits made in the beautiful Christmas setting. Santa will also be available that day in case families want him in the photo.
Two digital images and two 5 x 7 prints will be offered with the minimum package.
Avery has secured the services of a “real deal” Santa, a former Huntsville, Ala., resident who now calls Alcorn County home. His name is Ray Lindsey and he is no average Santa Claus as he stays booked throughout the Christmas season, said Avery.
And the best part? All proceeds of Avery’s photos will go to the Crossroads Museum, a non-profit organization that is shifting focus toward a railroad museum inside the Historic Railroad Depot. Specifically, proceeds of the event will be used on the new model railroad display being built inside the museum.
Avery said much thought has gone into the fundraising project and he remains hopeful the community responds.
“I am excited to offer professional prints in an unusual, but familiar setting to add family photo treasures,” he said.
The red vintage truck belongs to Dot Rider of Dream Riderz Classic Cars and Collectibles in Corinth.
“She is offering her personal vehicle to make this happen,” said the photographer.
After securing the truck, Avery signed on Lindsey, whose long natural white beard, mustache and hair capture attention where ever he goes – no matter the time of year, noted Avery.
By having the photoshoot inside the antique fire truck building in front of the museum, “weather will not be an issue,” said Avery. “And by setting up appointments in 10-minute segments, we hope to avoid long lines.”
Each photo session fee is $75 and payment will be made when securing an appointment. Photos with Santa will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, while family portraits with Santa will be offered from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21.
Two digital images and two 5x7 prints come with the sitting fee, but other options will be available, including Christmas cards, said Avery.
Prints will be available by Dec. 4 at the museum.
Now is the time to book appointments. Call or visit the museum to make an appointment Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 662-287-3021 or 221 North Fillmore Street.
“One hundred percent of proceeds will go to the Crossroads Museum to further the model train display,” he said.