When the guy in the red suit makes his way across the Tridge, and travels down Midland’s Main Street toward the county courthouse, he’ll be greeted by crowds of people of all ages ready to celebrate like days gone by.
On November 29th at 6:30 p.m. Santa’s trek will begin at the Tridge and will include switching on the colorful lights at his house and the courthouse after delivering season's greetings. Once the lights are turned on and his keys are officially handed over, the holiday season will be underway.
A ceremony featuring Santa Claus opens the holiday season in downtown Midland.
Now coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa House located at the corner of M-20 and Main Street in Midland, is expected to open its doors to the public with a schedule that resembles the one before the pandemic. No appointments will be necessary. The 2022 season’s schedule is available by going to midlandfoundation.org
Called “a holiday staple” for Midland and surrounding communities, the Santa House was built in 1987 with assistance from the Midland Area Community Foundation and donors. It operates annually with continued support from endowed funds and dozens of volunteers, called “elfs.”
The Northern Star Train will take holiday travelers through downtown Midland.
Kevin LaDuke, communications officer with the MACF, says “elfs” are still needed to fill three hour time slots in order to assist with Santa visits and to drive and operate the Northern Star Train. The train provides tours of downtown Midland during the Santa House season. The train travels for about 15 minutes from the Midland County Courthouse up Main St. and then back to the courthouse.
“Our number one goal is to make the Santa House as accessible as we can for everybody,” says LaDuke. “We want to open it up to as many families and visitors as we can.” What makes this year’s opening special includes some new indoor and outdoor decorations and it's no appointment necessary schedule. LaDuke adds, “We’re happy to be going back to our pre-COVID schedule."
LaDuke says the MACF will be tracking and monitoring COVID-19 rates while following CDC guidelines and actively consulting with the Midland County Department of Public Health. He says all Santa House visits are subject to change based on local, state and national guidance, “We will be monitoring health trends, and if we’re informed of any sort of spikes, we will be prepared.”
Santa Claus will trek over the Tridge on Nov. 29.
However, LaDuke also says those with sensory sensitivity to lights or sound will be able to schedule an appointment to come visit the Santa House on specific days. “We will have a few more staff helping to coordinate and assist those people during those days.”
LaDuke says last year’s popularity of the barn for Santa’s sleigh, which sits in front of the Santa House, is also back. “It’s great for those photo ops outside,” says LaDuke.
For anyone interested in volunteering, go to midlandfoundation.org/santahouse
or call 989-839-9661 to sign up for a time slot.