SUBSCRIBE MY PROFILE
HOME | BREAKING NEWS | POLICE & FIRE | IN MEMORIAM | PEOPLE | OPINION
 JOBS  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 HOMES  
 CARS  
 FUNERAL HOMES  
 GOODS & SERVICES

News of Otsego County

Santa Claus

Santa Does Stand-Up
DAH-DUM-DUM-DUM…

Santa Does Stand-Up

Who is this funny man?
Who is this masked – and funny – man?

What do you call a line of men waiting for a haircut?

A barberqueue

Why was the turkey in the pop group?

Because he was the only one with drumsticks!

What do you call a boomerang that does not come back?

A stick

The Spirit of the Season

The Spirit of the Season

There was no memo. Zack Telfer of Fly Creek, left, and Jay Beecher of Milford both, coincidentally, showed up for work today at the Country Inn & Suites, Hartwick Seminary, wearing the color of the season. They pose with another guy in the lobby who was similarly in the spirit of the season. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
There was no memo. Zack Telfer of Fly Creek, left, and Jay Beecher of Milford both, coincidentally, showed up for work today at the Country Inn & Suites, Hartwick Seminary, wearing the color of the season. They pose with another guy in the lobby who similarly caught the spirit. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Holiday Magic in Muller Plaza

Santa, Hundreds Of  ‘Elves,’

 Bring Magic To Muller Plaza

With the help of the crowd, Acting Mayor Russ Southard and Santa Claus light the Christmas tree in Muller Plaza on Thursday night.
With the help of the “elves” in the crowd, Acting Mayor Russ Southard and Santa Claus light the Christmas tree in Muller Plaza on Thursday night. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

ONEONTA – More than 200 people braved the cold and crowded into Muller Plaza to help Mayor Russ Southard and Santa Claus light the Oneonta Christmas tree earlier this evening.

“I tried to light the tree earlier, but I couldn’t get it to work,” said Southard.  “The maintenance guys told me I needed two things: Santa Claus and elves.”  He had Santa, and Santa quickly dubbed all the people gathered in the plaza as his elves, and with a countdown from ten, the tree magically sprung to light.

Main Street remained shut down for most of the evening so visitors could view the gingerbread houses, warm up with some hot chocolate from The Red Caboose, enjoy dancers from the Donna Decker School of Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” and take horse-drawn sleigh rides through the center of town.  The Oneonta History Center had their holiday train set running, and stores remained open late to invite shoppers in for gifts.

Santa Hears Wishes At Southside Mall

Santa Hears Wishes At Southside Mall

Jacob Hubner, 4, of Oneonta was a little bashful at first, but eventually he did sit on Santa's lap this afternoon at Schuylkill Mall and told St. Nick what's on his Christmas wish list.  Jacob was accompanied by his sister Piper, 1, and parents Melissa and John.  Santa will be a Southside Mall between now and Christmas on Saturdays, noon-4, and Sundays, 1-5.  Also Christmas Eve, 9 a.m.-noon.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Jacob Hubner, 4, of Oneonta, was a little bashful at first, but eventually he did sit on Santa’s lap this afternoon at Schuylkill Mall and told St. Nick what’s on his Christmas wish list. Jacob was accompanied by his sister Piper, 1, and parents Melissa and John. Santa will be a Southside Mall between now and Christmas on Saturdays, noon-4, and Sundays, 1-5. Also Christmas Eve, 9 a.m.-noon. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Cooperstown Santa’s 2nd Home, Saint Nick Reveals In New Book

Cooperstown Santa’s 2nd Home,

Saint Nick Reveals In New Book

•By JIM KEVLIN• The Freeman’s Journal

t the Chamber of Commerce kiosk, the Jolly Elf signs a copy of his just-published “Santa’s Second Home” for Charlotte Marietta, 4. (Jim Kevlin/The Freeman's Journal)
t the Chamber of Commerce kiosk, the Jolly Elf signs a copy of his just-published “Santa’s Second Home” for Charlotte Marietta, 4. (Jim Kevlin/The Freeman’s Journal)

For years now, you’ve seen Santa Claus around town all year long, perhaps manning the information kiosk in Pioneer Park, volunteering at The Farmers’ Museum, or at one community event or another.

Kids noticed it, too, and it raised questions in their young minds, and that troubled Santa. “They know it’s me,” he said in an interview the other day.

The result, years in the making, is “Santa’s Second Home,” a tell-all book that reveals a never-before-told secret: Cooperstown has replaced the North Pole as the place where the Jolly Old Elf spends most of his time.

For centuries, the icy top of the world was indeed domicile to Santa and Mrs. Claus and their workshop, but “lately, there have been a lot of changes,” the new book relates.

First, the polar ice cap has been melting at “an alarming rate,” making it a less-inviting place than it used to be. Plus, with wooden toys being replaced by “the latest electronic gadgets,” Santa had to mechanize his shop, add robots and computers to streamline orders and production.

“At the same time, Mrs. Claus has been yearning for a little house of her own, away from the bustle of the workshop, where she can have a nice little garden to tend,” Santa writes.

So, like any normal couple, the Clauses began to look for a second home, (perhaps eventually a retirement one, although this isn’t mentioned specifically), that is not too hot or too cold, or too big or too small. Most important, there had to be children, “lots of children.” And lots of Christmas spirit.

And so they happened on Cooperstown, with its “beautiful wreaths, lights and decorated trees.”

Naturally, when the Clauses arrived in town, they joined the Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee, which had come up with the idea of building a little house in Pioneer Park where children could meet the new arrivals every Christmas season.

“It’s been many years now since the Clauses have been spending time away from the North Pole in their second home,” the book reports.

With things running smoothly at the workshop, the couple find less and less reason to return, which is why you – and village kids – can see them year’round: going to church, raking or mowing the lawn at their “Victorian gingerbread” brick home, boating in the summers.

After Christmas, Santa shaves his beard and Mrs. Claus puts his shorn whiskers in the back yard for birds to use in making their nests.

Over the years, the Clauses’ Christmas residence in Pioneer Park, where they arrive in a horse-drawn wagon the day after Thanksgiving, has become more and more popular, with grown children of local folks bringing the grandchildren from as far away as Phoenix, Ariz., to join youngsters from towns around the region in giving their Christmas lists in person to the jolly couple.

The Pioneer Park cabin, in fact, has become a centerpiece of all the Christmas ferment around here, from The Farmers’ Museum Candlelight Evening to Brewery Ommegang’s Belgian Christmas.

While it hasn’t happened lately, Christmas in Cooperstown – the village is always talking about “shoulder-season” tourism promotions – was once more heavily promoted as something special.

A decade ago, the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce had a budget line to promote the holiday, former executive director Polly Renckens recalls, and launched such programs at discount Holly Dollars, decorated “Holly Trolleys” that toured people around to see the lights at the various Clark Foundation undertakings, and a Candlelight Stroll, where shops stayed open late and celebrants traversed Main Street in Victorian garb.

“It was a lot of stuff,” said Renckens, but it was a lot of fun. “Once it got organized, we kept in going and added a twist every year to keep people interested.”

The chamber would run TV spots promoting a Cooperstown Christmas. And Destination Otsego’s Deb Taylor, then county tourism director, remembers placing “All Malled Out?” ads in Albany-area newspapers, encouraging people to enjoy a less-commercialized holiday here.

“You need a catalyst,” Renckens said. Who knows? Maybe “Santa’s Second Home” will be just that.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103