North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27 Ave., will be decked out in festive decor for the free Children’s Holiday at North celebration Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The kid-oriented attractions include a 12-foot snow mountain in tubes, multiple bounce houses, and a stage with seating to view the entertainment, which varies from a Polynesian dance group to jazz bands.
Every year at the Children’s Holiday Celebration, Santa arrives in a helicopter promptly at 11 a.m., however this year he will be arriving in a fire truck.
“I walk through a crowd of thousands and thousands of kids,” said E. Carter Burrus, the former Honors College Director at North Campus, who dresses up as Santa Claus for the event every year. “When I put on the Santa Claus suit, I become a rockstar and all the kids go crazy.”
Immediately after, Santa and Mrs. Claus ride in a horse-drawn carriage to lead the holiday parade, which features many characters dressed in costumes as well as popular bands and stations of arts and crafts. Then, Santa is led to a throne where he sits and takes photographs with children.
Once again, traffic reporter for NBC 6, Kelly Blanco, will co-host the event with James Pierre.
“Student Life has multiple volunteer opportunities for students who need to receive community service hours,” said Jez Catambay-Lopez, Director of Student Life at North Campus. “Volunteer registration is for MDC students and high schoolers.”
The event features numerous exhibits like the Youth in Agriculture Pavilion, which includes animal shows, a petting zoo and games. Plus, a holidays-around-the-world center showcases global holiday customs and traditions, as well as Elsie’s Greenshop, where kids learn about going green and making cards or ornaments.
“We have many events that are sponsored by different departments. Each department sponsors and coordinates the different activities,” Catambay-Lopez said. “The whole campus comes together to make it happen. Student Life in particular sponsors Santa’s workshop, which is a fun arts and crafts tent where children can write letters to Santa and mail them in our own special Santa mailbox. They can also make their own sand art and color their own T-shirts.”
The event was created to be both fun, educational and free. For example, the school of science sponsors Elsie’s Green Shop, which is filled with hands-on science-themed activities, such as planting their own herbs and teaching children about static electricity.
“Some of the other big highlight areas are the multiple bounce houses,” Catambay-Lopez said. “[The event] takes up half of the North Campus and the parade features students, faculty and staff including SGA students which are Santa’s elves.”
A Candy Land food court with numerous food trucks and vendors will be available to meet cravings at a reasonable cost. Families are encouraged to contribute one toy toward the toy drive at the celebration that will be donated to needy children in the community.
“The events are mainly for children in the community,” Burrus said. “A lot of students and graduates volunteer as elves and fairies in different outfits in order to make the event run smoothly and allow the children to have a great time.”
For more information about Children’s Holiday at North, call 305-237-1141.