By Paula @ Holiday World

If you live in the Evansville area, you might want to tune to WNIN-TV on Friday evening to watch “Holiday World: The Kochs’ Recipe for Success.”

Thanks to Hilton for emailing me about the upcoming airing. Be sure to wave at him while you’re watching, as his photo is used in the show. Look for a black and white photo of a cute little boy wearing a cowboy hat. Hilton won a contest and was named Town Marshal of the town of Santa Claus for the entire year of 1959.

Well, lookee here … Jerry, our archivist par excellence, found a photo and some articles about Hilton:

Town Marshal in 1959

According to newspaper articles from December, 1958, the Santa Claus Chamber of Commerce held a nationwide contest looking for children who had been born on Christmas Day. The two winners were Hilton, from Mount Vernon, Indiana, and a lad named Michael from Hastings, Minnesota. That’s Santa Claus’s Postmaster for 1958, Elbert Reinke, pinning the official Town Marshal badge on Hilton’s shirt.

As an aside, get a load of the headline in Michael’s local paper:

Minnesota Red-Haired Namesake of Arch-Angel Will Reign As Honorary Mayor At Santa Claus

(Whew! They don’t write like that anymore!)

Michael was named Mayor of Santa Claus. Hilton got the cool job. Since he was born on December 25, 1946, he named was Town Marshal for 1959. I think Michael was a tad jealous:

1959 Mayor of Santa Claus and Town Marshal

There’s a cute quote from Hilton in the newspaper article. During his weekend in Santa Claus, he invited all those he met to “visit Posey County, home of the famous watermelon patches, and where the Ohio River blows a breeze of freshness.”

Regarding the TV show, if you’re not in the Evansville, Indiana, area…you might want to pester your local PBS affiliate and ask them to air the hour-long “Holiday World: The Kochs’ Recipe for Success” in your market. They just need to contact WNIN to set that up.

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