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22 December 2010 - 5:46pm
We received a confession, of sorts, from Ginger via email this week.
The Bloomington, Indiana, lady graciously gave us permission to make this a public confession.
We searched our photo archives, but couldn't find the perfect photo to go with this story. You'll understand why once you read it.
From Ginger, here is the Great Chicken Confession:
I have a new co-worker in my office, recently moved to our area from Florida, who had been told there was “nothing to do in Indiana!”
I and another co-worker assured her that that most certainly was NOT the case, and that we knew of a terrific place not too far south of here to take her family (she is a mother of four) that was fun and affordable.
I specifically mentioned the free unlimited drinks and the sunscreen, and told her to visit your website. I also took a minute to go to your webpage, thinking it would make a nice day trip for my grandchildren, and I saw your “Do You Remember Santa Claus Land?” page, and was reminded of one of my own Santa Claus Land memories . . . .
I was born in 1962, and this was when I was still fairly young, not sure of my exact age, but I’m guessing probably around five or six, because I vividly remember the building with all the dolls on display.
But the memory that stands out the most was this trained chicken in a cage, wherein you (inserted coins? pushed a button?) and it would come out of a box and peck out a tune with its beak on a little piano.
My uncle did whatever it was to set the process in motion – pushed a button or whatever - and, out came Mr. Chicken!
He gave a few pecks on the piano, looked around, and at that moment he realized – as did we – that there was a big, gaping hole in the side of the cage, and he lost no time in making good his escape.
The last we saw of Mr. Chicken was him running off out the back door, through the grass behind the building . . .
Frankly, I’d never seen a chicken run quite that fast before.
Funny, I don’t recall that the adults actually reported the missing chicken to the park employees. And as a little kid, I was afraid we’d somehow be held responsible and accused of – what? – chicken-napping? And of course, there were no chickens’ pictures on milk cartons in those days . . .
P.S. I just told this [rather animated] story to my co-workers, and I’m not sure whether they think the story is really funny, or if they just think I’m really nuts . . .
P.P.S. This weekend, I shared the story with another friend, and he offered the theory that the hole in the cage had, in fact, been made by Mr. Chicken himself, over a period of months, being gradually enlarged until such time as it was big enough for him to make good his escape. Therefore, we have now nicknamed him the “Shawshank Chicken.”
20 December 2010 - 11:30am
Has it really been 40 years?
And all these children are grown now, with children (and maybe even grandchildren) of their own?
Just in time for Christmas, we've dusted off this film (yes, this was long before DVDs) of the Santa Claus Land Children's Choir, which performed in 1970 and 1971.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari!
9 December 2010 - 12:53pm
We started out, back in 1946, as a park called Santa Claus Land.
Here's a rather remarkable precursor to today's infomercial.
And yes, it includes a darling Santa Jim cameo. And those well-remembered educated animals.
If you enjoy learning about the history of Holiday World, you might like a copy of our pictorial history book for under the tree this year, signed by author Pat Koch. It's available on our online HoliShop.
As Santa Jim would say, "Merry Christmas to all!"
3 December 2010 - 11:30am
Last spring, Will told me: "I want an iPhone app."
Flash forward to late June and we released our iPhone app.
And a companion mobile site for all the other smart-phone users, so they wouldn't feel left out.
That's when the Attack of the Automatons began. (That's my little pet name for Android users.) They wanted an app and they wanted it yesterday. Some scoffed at iPhones and quoted swelling sales figures of Android phones. Others just posted little sad-face emoticons on Facebook and Twitter.
It was a trying time.
Since we created the first app as a cooperative with our county visitors bureau, we checked to see if there was interest in doing the same for the Android users.
Happily, the answer was "yes." In fact, we fast-tracked the thing to get it ready for the town's big Santa Claus Christmas Celebration, which gets underway this weekend.
And here's our little stocking stuffer for our Android-using pals:
We're working on a really cool interactive map, too. Hopefully this summer, if you want to find the closest Pepsi Oasis (or, a half hour later, restroom), just press the Near Me button and you'll get all that and more.
The apps and mobile site also include a Santa Claus, Indiana, section with info about all the other fun theme attractions, events, lodging and shops in town.
And there's a Lincoln's Indiana Boyhood Home section, which includes info and photos about the many historic sites here in Spencer County, including the farm where our 16th president grew up (from when he was 7 years old until he left for Illinois when he was 21).
Young Lincoln grew up just four miles from where the town of Santa Claus would eventually be, did you know that?
So maybe instead of planning two days for your next visit here, you might want to add another day or two to catch a little history and more fun.
As an aside to the less techie among us: I tweeted a question, asking if Droid was just a shortened version of Android. Got my answer: Heavens no! A Droid is a brand name of one of the phones that uses the Android system. Android is an operating system and is used in a number of phones.
And speaking of techies, do you know what this is?
It's called a QR Code.
Or a matrix barcode.
Or a two-dimensional code.
If you do recognize this, you know you can use your QR Reader app to "take a picture of this" and it will take you directly to the webpage where Android users can download our new app.