By: Jessica Wiegandt, Lord Botetourt High School
Each and every year since I was born, my family and I have upheld a lasting tradition. The holiday season rapidly approaches, seemingly earlier each year, however we don’t acknowledge that it is time for Christmas celebrations until Santa rides down the streets of New York City at the end of the Macy’s Parade. As soon as Santa appears and passes, the immediate reaction of my parents is to whip out their calendar and check what day is free to go see “the real Santa” in Roanoke.
That’s right. Santa visits Roanoke every year, helping bring the holidays to our valley with Fantasyland – the name of the event with an extravagant setup where he visits. The History Museum of Western Virginia welcomes Santa and his guitar, allowing children of all ages to spend some quality time with Saint Nick. For the past 16 years I have gone to see Santa with my family. We sing along, listen to stories, get magic stardust and sit on Santa’s lap. Now, when I said “of all ages” earlier, I mean that usually the kids top out at age eight or somewhere around there. All except for me. I’ll be the 16-year-old hanging out on the floor of Fantasyland, and will be there for years to come.