A Visit with Santa
Visit Kringleville this year. It’s a Waterville thing.
When communities in the Kennebec Valley celebrate the holidays, we can see how its people, their work life, and volunteerism is really at the heart of it all. Downtown Waterville’s Santa Claus tradition, Kringleville, began in 1969 when Waterville volunteers set up a little unheated log cabin on Castonguay Square and lit up a young spruce tree. With great thanks to Central Maine Railroad, Santa arrived in Waterville in fine style that year (and on time, too!)
Fast forward to 1982, thanks to the efforts of the Waterville Intown Business Association, Santa’s little old log house was painted and converted into a small chapel and a new, larger home was built by the students from the vocational program at what is now Mid-Maine Tech Center.
As Kringleville moved into the twenty-first century, a new house for Santa was built by the employees of Keyes Fiber; then in 1999, a local group of performers called A Touch of Country (led by Gary and Cindy Michaud), took over the annual parade from the Intown Business Association. They moved the parade to a Friday evening event to attract more families. At the time, the parade was called: A Touch of Country’s Electric Christmas Parade with festivities concluding with the lighting of the giant spruce tree in Castonguay Square.
In 2007, A Touch of Country turned over the organization of this now popular tradition to Waterville Main Street, which renamed the event The Parade of Lights.
Today, Santa Claus continues to see and talk with children (at no cost) throughout the holiday season at The Center, located at 93 Main Street, with regularly scheduled hours to suit all families. Photos with Santa may be purchased at that time.
This kind of Holiday Magic continues each year in Downtown Waterville and it will continue for another forty years as long as there are children who still believe. When asked how he felt about returning to Waterville each year, Santa said, “I have seen a multitude of children over the years. Today, many of those children are now grandparents and parents and it is with pride and excitement that Mrs. Claus and I return to Waterville to make happy the hearts of all the little children in Central Maine.” The magic is real, people.
Friday, November 27 to Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 93 Main Street, Waterville
Article courtesy of Waterville Main Street