Santa celebrates his Golden Jubilee in Whiteville
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - Santa Claus may be all suited up in red and white, but in Whiteville everybody’s talking about gold.
It’s Santa’s Golden Jubilee this year. He’s had four generations of children sitting on his lap during the holiday season.
“It’s nice, even with COVID, to be able to have children smile for a few minutes,” said Santa. “It warms my heart.”
Santa’s home in Whiteville is a little white house filled with Christmas cheer. The place is surrounded by holiday inflatables and the flashes of light bulbs that set the scene 4437 miles from the North Pole.
“This is the Santa I sat on as a child and to bring my own children here, just makes it that much more special,” said Valerie Jacobs.
She brought three youngsters on this night to see Santa up close and personal. The children all dressed up as elves for that photo that will end up in some scrapbook.
“I do it right! Yes, I do it right,” said Valerie. “I go all out, that’s for sure. It just makes us all happy.”
Santa’s goal this year is twofold - make people happy and keep them safe.
“COVID’s kinda changed the rules this year,” said Santa. “We did a lot of praying before we even opened the doors.”
Just outside Santa’s home sits a table stocked with sanitizer and facemasks. Santa’s jolly red nose, and white beard, are readily identifiable behind his own face shield.
“If you’re a parent or adult, I ask you wear a mask,” said Santa. “The children can pull down the masks for a quick second for mom and dad to take a picture if they’d like.”
COVID isn’t keeping people at home. Santa has seen some of his busiest days ever in the last few weeks.
“I think people want to spent some time forgetting their cares and smiles,” said Santa. “If I can be a part of that, that’s terrific. "
Santa told WECT’s Bill Murray a little secret. His hair and beard have been white since he was about 30 years old.
“It was the bicentennial year and there was a storm,” said Santa. “I was holding a radio at the time and, unfortunately, got struck by lightning. The hair, the beard, it all turned white.”
Donny Hamilton’s here with his young family. All those memories come flooding back for the 31-year-old. He says he remembers coming here as child like it was yesterday.
“Oh, I remember my wish list,” said Donny. “Twenty five years ago, it was WWF action figures, Mortal Kombat, and Ninento 64.”
The spirit of Santa is alive and well in Whiteville - half a century and still going strong.
“I’m truly blessed,” said Santa. “I’m just trying to be bring joy to the little ones and joy to myself.”
If you’d like to visit the real Whiteville Santa, you can pop in Wednesdays through Saturdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Santa’s house is located at 113 W. Smith Street, Whiteville, NC.
Click here for more information.
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