Christmas in July

… means lots of memories of our dear Santa Jim (Mrs. Koch's dad and Dan's grandfather),  whose ho-ho-ho-ing filled the park when we were Santa Claus Land. Here's the link to a wonderful newspaper feature about Santa Jim from the 1970s.

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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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Neither rain nor snow …

There was all kinds of nasty (albeit seasonal) weather forecast for the early Tuesday morning this week. Valentine's Day. The one day every year when a red-inked letter in the mail is a good thing. It was a sweet coincidence that Valentine's Day was the day we planned to move the original Santa Claus Post…

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Do you remember Santa Claus Land?

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…

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One veteran’s story

Thank you to all the veterans whose devotion to our country has kept us safe and free over the centuries. In 1916, this young Navy man helped plan a ship-board Christmas party at the Brooklyn Shipyard for underprivileged children. Since he liked to talk about being from a town near Santa Claus, Indiana, he was…

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Flashback to Santa Claus Land

Did you know we haven’t always been called Holiday World? When we opened on August 3, 1946, we were called Santa Claus Land. And guess who was hard at work? Of course! The jolly elf himself. Have the children you love written to Santa yet? If they get their letters in the mail within the…

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Now … and then

Well, actually, then and way back then. These photos have been in my "HoliBlog photos" folder since last summer. Oops. What a sweet family photo, taken in August. Siblings who now live in Indiana, Ohio and Mississippi. Want to see something even sweeter? This is the same family back in 1970. Clockwise from top: Robin,…

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Any clues to this Claus?

This is the new background photo for our Twitter page. I guess I watched too many episodes of Monk this weekend. I'd love to figure out what year this was taken: Okay. So we know this was shot before we became Holiday World, so it's 1983 or earlier, right? I think two clues are the…

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70 years later

There's a lovely ceremony planned for Sunday. Read more about it here. One of the comments posted by a reader (below the article) is a request for a photo of Santa Jim. Here's a sweet one: You'll recognize Santa in the middle. That Will's little face at the top of the wreath. Heading clockwise in…

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Three score

We're not quite to Four Score and Seven yet, but a 60th Anniversary is nothing to sneeze at these days. It was on August 3, 1946, that Santa Claus Land opened in the tiny town of Santa Claus, Indiana. Louis J. Koch (Will's grandpa) had purchased the land in the 1930s and waited until World…

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Yum, yum, yum!

Santa selling Jell-o and cereal

Anyone else out there a cornball who loves to listen to old radio shows from the ’40s? I grew up hearing my folks talk about Fibber McGee‘s closet, Jack Benny‘s squeaky violin, and Baby Snooks’ antics. Thanks to satellite radio those shows are available again, 60 years later. And the commercials are a hoot Either…

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