Holiday memories often center on Santa dressed in his bright red, white fur trimmed suit. However, Santa could be dressed in bishop robes or a suit decorated with Civil war era stars and stripes. Maybe your Santa isn’t a white bearded jolly old man at all. Perhaps your childhood Christmas traditions revolve around a lovely lady as Santa Lucia. No matter what form your Santa takes chances are you will find him or her in historic St. Charles, Missouri. Here Santas gather for the city’s Historic Christmas Traditions, an annual celebration, which began in 1975 with little more than garland, a few decorations and a Yule log.
“St. Charles Christmas Traditions began simply with greenery and a Yule log,” said Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions Technical Director Ryan Cooper who also portrays Jack Frost, one of the St. Charles’ featured legendary characters. “ Since that first year the celebration has gotten bigger and bigger. We added the Santas in the mid-1080s and by the late 1990s our Santas have become out signature. Today there are 70 professional performers that include nine historic Santas.”
Counted among the historic Santas are performers portraying familiar holiday characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge, The Sugar Plum Fairy and a few new additions as Tomas Nast, the19th century American artist who drew Santa in his illustration of The Night Before Christmas. These holiday character legends represent the most famous holiday figures from history, literature and folklore. This year marks the new addition of Krampusnachts, Santa’s naughtier friends as Krampus, the MOuse King and Belsnickel.
Each Christmas legend shares their story in the form of a trading card featuring their image and holiday history. These cards have become collectables and mementos St. Charles visitors seek from each Santa and holiday character. One of the best way to find all these perfumers in one place it to attend the Christmas parade.
“The Santa Parade that’s held each Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm on Main Street ” said Cooper noting the parade steps off at the 1000 block of Main Street before ending at Berthold Square. “It will give visitors a chance to see all the historic Santas and legends characters at one time.”
Activities held throughout the week include marshmellow roasts, yultide dinning and candlelight processions lend by the Cobblestone Wassailiers to St. Charles official Christmas tree, where of course you will find your favorite Santa.
St. Charles wraps up its annual Christmas Traditions with its closing ceremony and Santa send-off on December 24. It’s your last chance see Santa before heading back to the North Pole.
To learn more about Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions and your favorite legendary Santa visit www.historicstcharles.com.