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King George Santaland has brought joy for 18 years

The Woman’s Club of King George hosted its 18th Annual Santaland on Dec.7, bringing overflowing Christmas joy and happiness to another generation of King George children.

Boys and girls of all ages, along with their parents, lined up outside Santaland in damp, chilly weather even before the doors opened, anxious for an opportunity to talk with Santa Claus, shop for presents and meet the Snow Queen.
“We had a line from beginning to end,” said Marcie Morris, the co-chair of this year’s event and one of the founders of the Santaland program in King George. “There was not one second that we did not have a crowd.”

Morris, her husband, Elmer, and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have helped the Woman’s Club make Santaland one of King George’s most popular holiday traditions.

Morris credited the 18 members of the Woman’s Club and her co-chair, Jan Taczak, with the success of the event.  “We couldn’t do it if everybody did not do their part,” she said.

After starting in 1995 in the old telephone building across the street, now a driving school, Santaland outgrew five locations before ending up in its current location in the old post office building on Route 3.  “It just kept getting bigger and better,” Morris said.

Like those in the past, this year’s Santaland featured children - Morris’ great grandchildren - in elf costumes ringing bells to help attract a crowd; a bake sale; a children’s boutique where children could buy presents for friends and family for $1; Santa patiently taking children’s Christmas lists; and Kathryn Strauss, the 2013 Snow Queen reading stories to children.

Strauss, a senior at King George High School, is an example of the longevity and popularity that is Santaland.  “She has been coming to Santaland since she was a toddler,” Morris said.

“When Kathryn was chosen Festival Queen this year, she said she had always wanted to be Snow Queen,” Morris said.  Strauss’ dream came true - the King George Festival Queen is also the Santaland Snow Queen - and she was radiant as she read to children and helped them enjoy another successful Santaland this year.

The Woman’s Club of King George is a member of the Greater Federation of Woman’s Clubs, an international organization dedicated to community improvement through volunteer service. The GFWC was formed in 1890, to support clubs throughout the nation and further their efforts at providing education, improved working conditions, healthcare, scholarships and other reforms.


— Richard Leggitt

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