That is a question dogging a lot of people, but Craig Eulenfeld figured it out.
Between his arrival the first weekend in December and the week before Christmas, Santa usually inhabits a little hut on the north side of Heritage Square.
But, Heritage Square is a live construction zone these days and that won’t change in time for Santa’s annual visit.
And that got a lot of people concerned, especially Eulenfeld.
After all, if the traditional location of the Santa Hut is under construction, where would the kids find Santa?
You see, Eulenfeld is one of the people who consider it his responsibility to make sure Santa’s Hut is placed properly in time for the Parade of Lights.
So, he trekked out to the construction site to look around.
First, he tried to figure out if he could locate the hut on Fifth Street near Legacy Early College High School. That way, it would be very close to the hut’s normal winter home, making it easy for kids to find.
But, sadly, the people working on the park use that street to stage construction materials. The street is filled with all sorts of brick and pavers and mounds of fill dirt, ready for use to complete the park.
Besides, it’s inside the fence that keeps folks safe while the park is being finished.
(And, by the way, crews are rapidly catching up from the rain-enforced delay that happened in September and October. If you get a chance, drive through the city hall parking lot and get a good look at the progress.)
Then, Eulenfeld thought, how about the new park pavilion? It’s nearly finished and very well lit. But, no … there is no safe way to partition the nearly-finished portion of the pavilion from the rest of the construction. The fences are too close to the street and there is simply too much activity in the area.
Then, he saw it.
Directly across Main Street from the park.
A freshly paved parking lot sandwiched between Little Liberty’s new location and Mezoozah’s old location.
Not exactly perfect but, all things considered, pretty good.
Eulenfeld figured out that Rick Northcutt owned the lot and it is used primarily for employee parking for those businesses on either side of the little lot.
All he had to do was get Northcutt to agree …
He didn’t. Not immediately.
So, Eulenfeld measured the space (several times) to make sure the 4’X8’ hut would not intrude on any of the employee parking.
If the hut was placed right behind the little boxwood shrubs between the lot and the park bench, no parking would be lost.
So, when you go to the Parade of Lights on Saturday, you will find Santa’s Hut right off the sidewalk in that little parking lot between Little Liberty’s new location and Mezoozah’s old location.
Santa will be available after the parade on Saturday, then Friday and Saturday evenings through Dec. 15.
Be sure to thank Eulenfeld and Northcutt.