With sirens blasting, Santa will arrive in downtown Milford riding on a fire truck and escorted by the police on Saturday, November 26 at 11 am. He will be in his house listening to the dreams and wishes of children every Friday evening 5 to 8pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. Santa will return to the North Pole after his evening visit is over at 8pm on December 23.
The annual Santa Claus House has been a Milford tradition in downtown with photographic records dating back to the 1940s. Six years ago, with the help of countless volunteers, Downtown Milford Inc. and the Santa Claus House Committee were able to provide a brand new house for local children, which currently stands on Walnut Street in downtown Milford. All of the materials and hours that were put into building the Santa House were donated by local construction businesses and volunteers.
“It is a wonderful gift for the community, provided by the community. It means a lot to you see the happiness it brings to parents and grandparents,” said Bev French, organizer of the Santa House program for the lat 10 years. Now in its fifth year with the new building next to the Mispillion River, Bev states that “the love and giving children the opportunity to share their wishes and dreams,” is what makes the program a yearly success.
For months ‘elves’ have been busy working behind the scenes to be ready for the upcoming season. Some volunteers have been preparing Santa’s house, some have been cutting out over 1,300 little red stockings and others have been sewing them before they are turned over to more elves that will fill them with candy.
“I hope that the families and volunteers take away that warm, fuzzy feeling that they got the first time they met Santa,” commented French. “It is a privilege to be a part of this event and I look forward to seeing the smile on the children’s faces every year. It is a rewarding experience for all of the volunteers.”
All children age 12 and under who visit will receive a picture with Santa, a candy cane and a stocking filled with candy from Downtown Milford, Inc. The nonprofit organization is dependent upon support from the entire community for both volunteers and funding in order to offer this special experience. If individuals would like to be a part of this worthwhile project and support DMI’s efforts, they are encouraged to call Bev French at 424-4465 or Steve Twilley at the DMI Office at 839-1180.
Saturday, November 26 is also Small Business Saturday as businesses downtown and throughout Milford offer discounts and specials to encourage people to forego larger chains and department stores and support local shops. For the first time in over ten years, the City of Milford is holding a tree lighting ceremony on that evening at City Hall beginning at 5pm. Stores will remain open until the tree lighting ceremony and some have agreed to remain open after the ceremony is over.
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