Legendary Santas Honored in Santa Claus Hall of Fame

Fourteen Charter Members of new International Santa Claus Hall of Fame announced

SANTA CLAUS, IN (PRWEB) The historic Candy Castle was dedicated on December 22, 1935, as the original building of the nation’s first themed attraction Santa Claus Town. Now 75 years later, the castle is making history once again as the home to the new International Santa Claus Hall of Fame! The International Santa Claus Hall of Fame is an ongoing project that celebrates, studies, and preserves the historical documentation of the many men and women who have greatly contributed to the Legend of Santa Claus.

The tradition of a live Santa Claus entertaining children dates back nearly 170 years. It is rumored that Santa Claus made his first visit to a dry goods store, J. W. Parkinsona’s in Philadelphia on December 24, 1841. Later in 1887, Santa arrived in Peoria, Illinois as part of the world’s first Santa Claus Parade. Three years later, in December 1890, a department store owner named James Edgar of Brockton, Massachusetts dressed up as Santa Claus based on a 1863 illustration of Santa by artist Thomas Nast. Edgar became the world’s first department store Santa and the concept of a live Santa quickly spread around the country.

“Literally tens of thousands of men have portrayed Santa for children over the decades.” commented Kevin Klosowski, proprietor of the Candy Castle. “A handful of these men as Santa were and are truly exceptional.”

The 14 Santas that were selected as Charter Members of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame came from a process that started with 50 nominees. All candidates were held to a criteria including, over all career, service to their community or company, range of appearances, contribution to the Santa world, length of service, uniqueness of career, originality, and charity. Annually, more Santas and Mrs. Clauses will be added to the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

Included among the 14 enshrines are Charles W. Howard (1896-1966) of Albion, New York and Jim Yellig (1894-1984) of Santa Claus, Indiana. Howard created the world’s first Santa Claus School and was Macy’s parade Santa for 18 years. Yellig became the official Santa to Santa Claus Land in 1946 and for the next 38 years had more children sit on his knee than any other Santa ever.

Along with the original Charter Members, the Saint that is the basis for the Santa Claus Legend is being honored. The International Santa Claus Hall of Fame is dedicated to Nicholas of Myra, the 4th century bishop known for his great deeds of generosity. St. Nicholas is known as the patron Saint of children.

“The custom of visiting Santa and sitting on his knee is a true Christmas tradition for children of all ages. For others, being Santa Claus is the tradition. It is not a job, it is a true vocation.” added Klosowski.

For complete bio information on the 14 Charter Members of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame, please visit www.santaclaushall.com