Guest Author - Dawn Engler
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Or at least there is a North Pole where Santa is said to live! Travel fourteen miles south of Fairbanks Alaska along the Richardson Highway, and you will pass right through North Pole Alaska.
Land grants brought homesteaders to Alaska in the late 1800’s into the mid 1900’s. Town sites were established and homesteaders could claim up to 160 acres outside of placed towns. Sometime after the land was all gobbled up, a combination of great minds felt that if they re-named the town of Davis to North Pole, they could draw in some toy manufacturer. The idea failed, but the North Pole remains!
Streets are named after Donner, Blitzen, Snowman and even Santa Claus Lane is decked out in candy cane light poles. A visit to Santa Claus house will have you walking away full of goodies to take back home. The reindeer are waiting for you to come by and visit with them. Santa Claus House boasts they are the “original letter from Santa Claus” since 1952! If you think your neighbors are light crazy, imagine what the North Pole looks like every year when they hold their lighting contest. This is a town that is lit up all year round, so the contest must really get the creative juices flowing! There is an ice festival each year that brings novice and famous ice carvers out for the competition. The sculptures are fabulous.
With its location directly between Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright Army Post, this growing community has brought in many full time military families, who prefer to live off base. Originally the area was a switch for the railroad running between Ladd Field and Eielson, and the trains still move on the tracks right alongside the Richardson Highway.
Close proximity to Fairbanks makes the North Pole an easy stop-over on your visit to Alaska. Bring your wish list and leave it with Santa while you’re there.
Now, just because some things should be kept straight, even if all in fun…Santa's Reindeer are girls and here's the proof:
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer, each year male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen . . . had to be a girl!
We should've known. Only women would be able to drag a fatman in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night, and not get lost!