“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Jennifer Copeland. “It’s simply gorgeous, and of all the times I’ve been here this year is the best.”
Jennifer was captured by the Christmas magic inside the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Elkin on Friday night. More than 20 decorated trees dispersed throughout the hotel ground floor, cookies and cocoa were served, and families lined up to take professional portraits. The gathering was part of the Celebrating the Magic of Christmas 2012 Winter Wine and Craft Festival sponsored by the Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Baily Copeland, Jennifer’s daughter, was there to see Santa.
“I told Santa how good I was all year,” Baily said.
Santa Claus, performed by Jerry Prichard, was clearly the main event for the children. Just as popular were family portraits offered by Shutterbug Photography.
When The Tribune arrived, the lines to greet Santa were still out the door of the main entrance to the hotel and were running along the side of the building into the parking lot.
“This is the most people we’ve ever had, and we’re so pleased with the turnout,” said Fairfield’s director of sales Casey Waddell. “So far over 500 children have entered to spend time with us.”
New this year was the inclusion of Mrs. Claus, performed by Wanda Prichard.
“I’m married to Santa Claus,” said Prichard. “I mean that literally.”
Mrs. Claus has been generally depicted in media as a fairly heavy-set, kindly, white-haired elderly female baking cookies somewhere in the background of the Santa Claus myths. She’s been known to sometimes assist in toy production, and oversee Santa’s elves. However, the Fairfield’s inclusion of Mrs. Claus was a unique approach, something new, with Mrs. Claus having a prominent role.
The Fairfield Mrs. Claus demonstrated that her personality was fairly consistent of a real Mrs. Claus. Like Mrs. Claus, Mrs. Prichard was calm, kind, and a patient woman, often in contrast to Santa himself, who sometimes had exuberant expressions, but he too fit his role perfectly.
Santa was staffed up by two nicely dressed and cheerfully delightful elves, performed by Tracy McBride and Marlene Cable. The elves were seen taking turns all evening long shuffling kids onto Santa’s lap, and occasionally helping with taking a photo when requested.
Lisa Ward, who attended the event with her children Haley and Dylan, said the event was perfect.
“Coming here totally gets you into the holiday spirit,” said Ward.
And distance is no obstacle for some who attended the venue.
“We’ve been coming here every year since the Fairfield has put on this event,” said Tim Bates.
When asked where Tim was from, he indicated that his entire family, all fifteen of them, were from Lynchburg, Va..
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