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Santa’s Jolly Holiday draws crowd in Southington

SOUTHINGTON — It was a cold and rainy day, but that didn’t stop families from rushing over to the Calendar House on Pleasant Street for Santa’s Jolly Holiday on Sunday afternoon.

Kids of all ages, with parents and friends, came out to the event to celebrate the start of the Christmas season.

David Lapreay, the town’s recreation, youth, and senior services director, said that the event, previously known as “Santa in the Park,” took place indoors at the Calendar House because it offered a better space. 

“We were lucky to be able to host this at the Calendar House,” Lapreay said. “Everything is more organized, and we can separate each activity in the building.”

The Parks and Recreation Department is also now located in the building.

Lapreay said that rather than having the event outdoors at the town-owned Southington Drive-In, the event will now be held indoors to avoid uncertainty with the weather with some outdoor elements weather permitting.

Initially, Lapreay said that Clydesdale-drawn hay rides were scheduled to take place at the DePaolo Middle School parking lot across the street, but due to the rainy forecast, he had to cancel it.

Traditionally, the town has held an event with Santa on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and typically its draws out a large crowd.

Lapreay said there were many people at the doors when they started at 2 p.m. and that a few hundred kids and families were in attendance.

This annual children’s event had plenty to get kids and their families excited for the holiday season — pictures with Santa, face painting with Valentine the Clown, balloon animals with Tony the Magic Elf, hot cocoa, and cookies.

Kids even had the opportunity to write letters to Santa.

Dena Colter of Southington said that setup was incredible and well done.

“I stumbled upon it, and it’s a hidden treasure,” Colter said. “It’s not rushed, and the kids get to have a good time.”



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