Santa’s Village celebrates 27th year

Santa’s Village celebrates 27th year
The legacy of Santa’s Village can be measured in the amount of food and toys that have been collected and donated to service agencies through its 26 years. Those donations, totaling $933,462, have been distributed to area residents who need them.
Santa’s Village will mark its 27th anniversary, Dec. 8-11, continuing that tradition and also continuing to provide four days of family holiday entertainment. To date, 239,256 people have attended Santa’s Village.
The fantasyland provides the sights, sounds and fun of Christmas. It is staged each year at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Slated for 6-9 p.m., Dec. 8-9; 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Dec. 10; and 1-5 p.m., Dec. 11, the event will return to the “Enchanted Forest” theme in scenes depicting the holidays. Also featured will be a giant Christmas tree, wagon rides on Friday through Sunday, MTD model train display, children’s rides and vendor booths. Twenty hours of continuous local entertainment and a petting farm will add to the festivities. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dec. 8. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 worth of nonperishable foods and/or toys.
Service agencies receiving food and toys collected at Santa’s Village this year include: Chimes for Charity, We Care Ministries, NWTN Disaster Services, Santa’s Helpers, Healthy Start NW Region and Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council.
Co-sponsors for the event are the City of Martin and UT Martin. Additional sponsors of the event include: First State, MTD Products, Tyson Foods, Volunteer Community Hospital and McDonald’s. As part of the event each year,WCMT sponsors a can caravan for canned food donations collected at the schools.
“We are fortunate to have sponsors who contribute money, as well as volunteers who spend their time and effort helping in this event,” said Kim Kirby, Martin Parks and Recreation Department program director. “We are proud to provide a free holiday event, while helping the less fortunate in the area.”
Kirby expressed thanks to the service agencies that use the bounty of food and toys from Santa’s Village to benefit families in the region at holiday time and, in some cases, throughout the year.
For more information about Santa’s Village, contact Martin Parks and Recreation Department at 587-6784.

WCP 11.17.11

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