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Recorded December 2022
December 11, 2022:
Many of us remember Santa Claus Day in our hometowns from when we were kids. Today’s story tells about one of those days 77 years ago in Roseau.
With World War II still affecting supplies in the country, the Roseau Commercial Club managed to help Santa Claus make an appearance for Christmas. An article from the Roseau Times-Region on December 13, 1945, tells about his upcoming visit as well as other city business.
Hey Skinney! Santa is coming. The time has been set, too. It is Friday afternoon, December 21. The place is the Roseau Municipal Auditorium and the hour is 3:30.
The appearance of Santa Claus connected with a Christmas program of carols was favored at a meeting of the Commercial Club Monday evening and funds were allocated for the same. Appointed on a committee to make the arrangements are Reverend T. C. Hanson, W. J. Strandlie and Carl Dahlquist.
It was pointed out that candy was scarce, so little could be hoped for in that line, but peanuts are plentiful. Speaking for the Roseau creamery, W. J. Strandlie, manager, stated the creamery would furnish the ice cream for a treat for the children who attend the doings at the Auditorium.
It is expected that with the old tires running pretty thin that Santa Claus will revert back to the sleigh and reindeer or horses as the case may be.
As yet the program is just hatching, but the committee expects to have something fine rigged up by the time Santa pulls into town Friday afternoon next week.
The club also went on record as approving organization of a senior hockey team, backing up the move in this respect by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. There is money in an athletic fund of previous years that could be used. Reorganization of the athletic committee so as to act as a central committee was approved.
The Club approved the purchase of a $5 Christmas Seal Bond, voted to send the secretary to the MACS meeting February 24 and 25, with expenses paid.
Some talk on post office building and sites, sidetracked the toboggan slide matter until material is available, and question of public restroom was tabled to a latter meeting.
The Club voted $50 contribution to the War Service Fund.
Norman Flagstad presided at the meeting and R. J. Halvorson took the minutes.
The next week, there were more details about the expected visit, saying this:
He expects to come up the main drag of the business section, at the intersection of Pearl Street and Viola Avenue, where the community Christmas tree stands. From there he will go directly to the auditorium. He invites the children to follow him to the auditorium. It will be nice and comfortable there, and he would like to have the boys and girls of the village and the surrounding country gather there for singing of Christmas carols and to hear the Christmas Story as related in the holy history read.
A wrap-up of his visit then appeared in the December 27, 1945, Roseau Times-Region, telling about his Big Party in Roseau.
More than Six Hundred Boys and Girls were Out to Greet Jolly St. Nick.
Santa Claus arrived in Roseau by horse and cutter Friday afternoon. As suspected, he came directly from the North Pole headquarters and entered the village limits on Viola Avenue from the north. That he had been traveling some showed by the frost-covered horse that pulled the cutter.
Santa was garbed in his well-known red suit, and his beard was as white as ever. Advancing years made no difference in his ability to get around and mingle with the children as well as the grownups.
His arrival in town found the kiddies at the Christmas tree at Pearl and Viola. From there the itinerary was to the community auditorium where a program of Christmas Carol singing and the reading of the Bethlehem story, as told in the Gospels, was given.
Mrs. Carl Wahlberg directed the singing of the Christmas songs, and Mrs. E. R. Johnson played the accompaniments. All of the children joined in the singing. The reading of the Christmas Story was made by Donna Mae Meyers.
Santa Claus had a busy time mingling with old and young and getting the low-down on happenings around here since his last visit. He discovered, as he suspected, that this community has only good boys and girls.
The Roseau Farmers Co-operative Creamery Association treated the boys and girls an ice cream cone each and the Roseau Commercial Club which sponsored the visit of the gentleman from the North, furnished the rest of the refreshments. Norman Flagstad, head of the Commercial Club, took a hand in the reception given Santa and in the handling of the program.
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