Go Here: Santa Claus, Indiana
As the Holidays get closer, decorations are popping up everywhere we look. In a little town in Indiana, though, it's Christmas all year long, and it's a little weird.
When we stumbled upon a sign for this strange little town (population: 2,014) in the southwest corner of Indiana, we were many hours into a long, boring drive across the country in the middle of the night. Because of these harrowing conditions, our first reaction was that we needed to take a sleep break, because we were hallucinating. When we got off at the exit, though, the sun was beginning to rise over Indiana, and that's when we saw them: Santa statues. A lot of them.
Originally established as Santa Fe (pronounced: fee) in 1854, the town voted to change the name to Santa Claus after their application for a USPS post office was denied, on account of how there is already a Santa Fe. You know, in New Mexico. Once named, the Santa Claus Post Office began to receive thousands of 'Dear Santa' letters from children all around the world. It warmed our hearts to find out that this tradition has not died -- we sort of assumed Santa was on Twitter by now, since even the Pope is.
For a teeny little town in an area devoid of most things (when we asked about a grocery store, they gave us directions to the closest one, which was almost two hours out of our way) it boasts an impressive list of attractions, including a large theme park called Holiday World, Santa Claus Land of Lights, Christmas Lake Golf Course, Santa's Candy Castle, Frosty's Fun Center, the Santa Claus Post Office and the Santa Claus Museum. These people are obsessed. Even the local businesses have bought in:
We visited in Spring, and so we can only imagine what it's like during the holiday season -- actually we're kind of hoping they take it all down, just to mess with people. If you check it out, please report back. Bring groceries with you though, so you're not forced to subsist on dry goods from Santa's Candy Castle -- a man cannot live on marshmallow Santas, alone. There's also a fruitcake eating contest, but self-flagellation isn't really our idea of holiday cheer.