A connection with community

Mrs. Koch was the humbled recipient of an award this morning. It was a surprise. Her younger daughter, Natalie, somehow finagled getting Mrs. Koch away from the front gate this morning in order to attend the ceremony. The award is from the Crisis Connection here in southern Indiana. They're all about zero tolerance toward violence…

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Gate gifts

It's so sweet to see Mrs. Koch empty her pockets after spending the morning at our front gate, greeting Guests. There's always something interesting … Some of the smaller visitors bring her heartfelt gifts. It may be a simple message: … or intricate artwork, such as this masterpiece from young Cale: … or even a…

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Life is like a box of …

I've teased Mrs. Koch that she's a bit of a Forrest Gump. No, she hasn't suddenly become a ping-pong fanatic, but she's taken part in a few moments of national importance. This photo is from 1941, when she helped place the cornerstone for what is now the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial: And today, in honor…

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“Carry the church around the village”

When Nathan started posting photos of the town's 132-year-old church moving to its new home one-half mile away on the Santa Claus Museum's Facebook page, Sabine from Germany commented, "… in German we have a saying: 'carry the church around the village.'" Indeed, Mrs. Koch's dream to carry the past into the future took flight…

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A chilly perspective

Dan’s like a kid in a candy shop when he stops by the Mammoth construction site. He just can’t help himself. This morning, he dragged his mom along with him. The first few pieces of Mammoth tunnel are already assembled up in the woods. It’s not exactly a stretch to say this is one of…

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Pasta perfect

When a family-owned business has been around for 65 years, there are always new discoveries. By that I mean … we're forever finding precious old photos and mementos tucked away in odd places. The other day, Mrs. Koch bounded into my office carrying a big box. Look what we just found in the attic over…

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A cast of thousands

Mrs. Koch was chuckling over this encounter from the other day. Man in park: How many of you are there? Mrs. Koch: Oh, gosh…I think we have hired about 1,700 seasonal hosts and hostesses this year. Isn't that incredible? Man in park: No, that's not what I meant. How many of you are there? Mrs….

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Cooking with Mrs. Koch

During the summer months, Mrs. Koch … well, she really doesn't cook. She helps out a lot in our restaurants, though. The other day, right before her 80th birthday, she was helping in the kitchen at Kringle's Kafe. Until, that is, she saw a Guest waving frantically to catch her attention. As Mrs. Koch approached…

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Watch us on the Travel Channel tonight!

Tonight's the night. We all get to tune in and watch The Travel Channel. For tonight, Bert the Conqueror will conqueror … Indiana. Bert is the host of this crazy show where he goes from state to state–and often from park to park–trying to conquer his fears. Fear of heights. Fears of high speeds. Fear…

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“She planted far more than flowers…”

She was independent and hard-working. She was smart and she was funny. And she lived to be 100. But sadly, our beloved "flower lady," Frieda Foertsch, passed away yesterday. From 1954 until 2009, Frieda graced us with her formidable presence. Whether working the front gate, helping in the kitchen, sewing a new red suit for…

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Santa’s daughter gets the first ride

It’s a dizzy job, but someone’s got to do it. So when the call went out for the first ride on Rudolph’s Round-Up, Mrs. Koch stepped forward. As work on finishing the queue area was being completed, the test cycles began. (Sorry, should have posted this a week ago — both parks are now open…

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The Claus that refreshes

Not that we like keeping secrets, but sometimes we just have to… For example, last fall we were contacted by folks representing a soft-drink giant. They were contacting communities all over the nation which help Santa answer children’s letters each December. When they found us, they knew their search was over. Not only has the…

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