The sky’s the limit

Voyage construction

The lack of a Voyage construction update lately doesn’t mean work isn’t getting done. It just means the gloomy skies don’t provide for the sharpest photos. No matter what the weather, when it comes to The Voyage, the sky’s the limit!

Indeed, as Jacob, our marketing intern, ventured forth into the sunshine this week, he came across quite a bit of progress.

Here’s that three-story coaster station:

Voyage construction - station

And here’s a look at The Voyage.

On the right, you’re heading down Hill #2 and then heading up Hill #3.

Voyage construction
The trackers are hard at work on Hill #3.

No one appreciates the warmer temps more!

Voyage construction

And here are the footers poured for the turnaround portion of the ride.

Voyage footers

Finally, this is the drop into the turnaround:

Drop into Voyage's turnaround

Time to head out for Christmas break, so please understand there won’t be regular posts for a week or so.

From all of us here at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari — a very merry Christmas to all of you and your families!

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You’d better watch out!

Santa Claus

Here’s Jim Anderson’s radio story from today’s newscast on WBDC-FM:

One just never knows when one might meet one of Santa’s Helpers. At the Vigo County School Corporation, there is a Hoosier Prairie fifth grader who will think twice before he starts to spread unfounded rumors about Santa Claus. He’ll probably think once more before believing his own story … now that he has the facts.

Santa ClausThe older student decided it was time to tell a first grader at the school’s after-hours program. Well, he was going to tell him that there is no Santa Claus.

That was indeed his plan, but a supervisor at the after-school program interceded. She warned him to be careful about the “knowledge” he was about to share.

While everyone may believe as they choose, Julie Anderson explained to students that she not only believed in Santa — she actually worked with Santa Claus!

Anderson spent her last nine summers at Holiday World, earning money for college and was well prepared for the questions that followed. After all, one summer she personally escorted Santa out in the park.

So exactly how did she know he was Santa Claus?

What proof did she have?

Well, apparently Santa is ready for Indiana’s new Voter Identification Program. Right there on the Jolly Elf’s driver’s license is his name, Santa Claus.

That name is also featured on his checkbook and his credit cards.

So believe as you will, but don’t be surprised if Santa has picked up another believer at the Hoosier Prairie Elementary School.

You might notice the supervisor in the story has the same last name as the news director. Julie is indeed Jim’s daughter.

And there’s no doubt that she will forever be listed in Santa’s “Good Girls” book.
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Our answer to the Christmas debate

Pat Koch and Santa's Elves

Have you been following all the fuss? About whether it’s a Christmas tree or a “holiday tree”? Not a terribly new debate, sadly.

We had to go back seven years to find this, but thought it was worth dusting off. Back in 1998, we were approached by a national newspaper chain to write a “counter-point” opinion piece about one man’s push to have Christmas removed from the list of national holidays.

He was suing the government in an attempt to turn December 25 into just another day here in the U.S.

Here’s the reply, from Mrs. Koch, that was printed:

Point/Counter Point

Dear Santa, I have been trying to be good this year but my little sister gets me in trouble. I hope you give me lots of toys this year. I’ll be happy with anything you give me this year. Your friend, Bubby B.

Dear Santa, I what my dad to be smarter. Love, Robbie D.

Dear Santa, I have been a very, very good gril this year. I want your picer. Your friend, Annessa P.S. Go to Mrs. Johnson’s house to get me a cat. She has lots of them.

Dear Santa, I like board games. I promise to leave you some cookies and milk. Oh, don’t forget to turn off the TV this year, you forgot to last year. From your friend, Michael

Pat Koch and Santa's ElvesAs thick as snowflakes in a blizzard the letters come, year after year, as children send their letters to Santa Claus.

Somehow these letters find their way to the tiny post office in Santa Claus, Indiana, from all around the world even though at times the address is simply “Santa Claus, USA,” with a colorful sticker where a 32-cent stamp should be.

Somehow the harried postal workers see to it that the letters get to Santa Claus in time. And somehow this town provides enough volunteers to make sure that each of the thousands of letters receives a personal reply from one of Santa’s Elves. Everyone is busy, everyone has shopping and cooking and wrapping to do. But the sweet and sometimes sad letters from children from all over the world are too important to ignore.

Christmas is about children. Although we Americans sometimes complain about the commercialism of the holidays, we must look beyond the hustle-bustle and into the eyes of our nation’s children, for it is there that we will rediscover the true spirit of the season.

Children understand Christmas

They know it’s about believing.

It’s about sharing and loving and giving from the heart. As adults, it’s about gathering the little ones in your lap and telling them about what you asked Santa to bring you (back in the dark ages when you had to walk eight miles to school in ten feet of snow). It’s giggling as three generations try to remember the gift given on the eleventh day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and blinking back tears of tender love as the tiniest grandchild recites the names of Santa’s reindeers.

It’s taking time off from work and school to be home with loved ones. Oh, and it’s breaking bread together, and giving thanks for family, good health, and for the blessings of living in America. It’s a time to donate to a good cause, to prepare meals for the less fortunate, to bring flowers to a shut-in.

Thousands of children visit Santa Claus, Indiana, during their summer vacation each year to get an early visit with the town’s namesake. As they climb up into his lap, there are no questions about religious or ethnic background. The only questions are: “Have you been good this year? And what would you like Santa to bring you?” Nothing political, nothing controversial, simply a quiet conversation between a little child and kindly old gentleman.

During the years when Americans have been overseas at war, the bombs stopped while soldiers from both sides gratefully celebrated the Christmas holiday. There was no question of religion for these cease-fires, but a universal agreement that on December 25th there would be no war.

Can a holiday with the power to halt wars not be a national treasure?

Christmas is as American as the 4th of July. It should be celebrated by all who wish to recapture the belief and hope of a small and trusting child.

Patricia A. Koch
Santa Claus, Indiana

It helps to have an understanding spouse

Thought you’d get a kick out of this, from my pal Mike in Louisville, who has an understanding spouse:

I had just turned off the lights last night and I said, “Five months from tomorrow!”

I thought my wife, Michelle, was asleep but she was not. She asked me what I was talking about.

I told her Holiday World opens for the 2006 season then.

She chuckled and said when she heard me she thought about our anniversary, no that did not fit, her birthday, close but no fit. But of course, it is December, I am just going to bed after a long day, I am in my warm bed with my lovely wife and I am thinking of Holiday World and the premiere of The Voyage.

I think she is jealous.
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