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Thursday, May 5, 2016

'Santa's Castle' to mark centennial

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Last year site saw 8,600 visitors

Candy Clough, who as curator has the formidable job of pulling together the strings that make Santa's Castle a success, updated Hy-Noon Kiwanis recently about what's new at Storm Lake's premier Christmas hot spot.

This is also the centennial for the construction of the building that the Andrew Carnegie Foundation built as a library for Storm Lake. The pristine masterpiece of Victorian architecture enjoys an enviable position on the National Register of Historic places as well as serving up memories for the young and the young at heart.

"This fabulous building is the jewel of Storm Lake," said Clough, paying credit to the City of Storm Lake for its help in refurbishing the building with new roof and gutters.

"We can now say the castle looks good," Clough said. "It smells good and it's safe."

In redoing the roof, Clough said workers found the original slate roof. She said some of the slate was saved for a possible future fund-raiser.

The next project likely for the Castle will be handicap access.

"We're working toward it," Clough said. She said Storm Lake architect Glen Huntington has suggested putting an elevator on the rear of the building so as to not change its unique, historic appearance.

The featured exhibit this year will be a 1950s Christmas kitchen sponsored by the Nestor Krebs estate. The kitchen will include a working 1949 refrigerator and classic animated poodle characters.

There will also be a new retail corner that will include, among other items, a print of the Castle by Storm Lake artist Joleen Dentlinger.

Martini's and Magic will be held again in early November. The fund-raiser starts at Martini's then goes to the Castle for the season opening tour. There will also be a Breakfast with Santa in November at the Lakeshore, Clough said.

The Castle traditionally opens Thanksgiving Day and runs through Christmas. It features imaginative designs, a place to meet Santa, a large miniature train set, and the midwest's largest collection of nearly-priceless animated holiday figurines dating from the 1920s-50s.

There were 8,600 visitors to Santa's Castle last year. The Castle has also been open at various other times, including the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Clough said those who want a special tour can call the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce at 732-3780.

Clough said Santa's Castle can always use volunteers. Those who wish to donate their services can also call the Chamber.

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