Santa moves from Enchanted Castle to village hall in Antioch
After 25 years, Santa will be moving from his traditional castle home in Antioch to a new locale at village hall.
With Santa's Enchanted Castle in bad shape, the village and Antioch Chamber of Commerce, which is located in the municipal building, are assembling Santa's Enchanted Village for the holiday season.
"We're using existing rooms and re-purposing them for Santa," said Village Administrator Jim Keim. "Within the village hall complex our area of the building will be decked out and decorated completely with an enchanted North Pole theme, the scenery, the lighting, all of that."
The Enchanted Castle, the traditional venue for area children to see Santa during the holidays, has major structural problems, said Mayor Larry Hanson, who was among the volunteers who helped put it together in 1986.
At the time, an old 10-foot by 20-foot construction trailer was dismantled and taken down to the flat bed, Hanson said.
Local businesses donated materials and volunteers gave their time to craft the special holiday home.
"We had a lot of community support," Hanson said.
On Wednesday, public works employees dressed as elves and began erecting portions of what will be known as Santa's Enchanted Village at village hall, 882 Main St.
Hanson said it will be nice for visitors to have a heated waiting area, though he noted the winter elements never kept anyone from visiting the old castle.
"I have mixed emotions, I really do," he said.
While it won't be the Enchanted Castle, the corridor will be decorated and Santa will have a workshop.
"We don't want to lose what we had. We're known for having a beautiful Christmas," Hanson said.
The new home will be completed and open to the public Nov. 23 through Dec. 23, with weekday hours of 5:30 to 8 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
"I think it's going to be magical," Hanson said.
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