Staff writer Courtney Cutright brings us this profile of Tom Williams, who’s played Santa for the History Museum of Western Virginia’s “Fantasyland” for 16 years.
History Museum of Western Virginia’s Santa offers kids a different experience
Tom Williams plays guitar, sings carols and shares stories — and it’s not a job he takes lightly.
By Courtney Cutright
“Please remind people how to spell Santa Claus,” said Tom Williams. “There’s no ‘e.’ If you put an e [at the end of Claus] and send it, the letters go to Tim Allen and you’re not going to get anything for Christmas.”
Williams, 66, of Floyd County, who is well-known for his role as Santa Claus at Fantasyland in the History Museum of Western Virginia in downtown Roanoke, said the misspelling exploded with the popularity of Allen’s 1994 “The Santa Clause” movie.
This Santa on Wednesday morning entertained a group of 35 children from Mill Creek Child Care Center in Botetourt County. He played guitar, sang carols and shared the story of Holly the green-nosed reindeer from the makeshift living room in one side of the museum’s Campbell Avenue storefront.
“Santa, your coat is so big,” one little girl exclaimed.
“I’m on the good list,” a boy said, repeating the line louder and louder until he eventually snagged the jolly guy’s attention.