The Celebrate Santa Festival to be held March 13 – 17, 2010 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee will feature over 600 professional Santa and Mrs. Clauses celebrating the life and times of Santa Claus. This year, the event is closely tied with the upcoming epic motion picture, Nicholas of Myra, the story of the life and times of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus.
The movie’s writer/director, Gerald Hartke and the lead actor, Matthew Mesler are the Grand Marshals of the Holly & Shamrock Parade on March 13th. They also will be the guests of honor at a premiere party Sunday night the 14th called “An Evening with St. Nicholas” honoring the movie and what it means to the overall Santa community.
“This movie will have a tremendous impact on how the public views today’s Santa Claus,” said Joe Moore, the event’s co-coordinator and a nine year Santa Claus. “People will come away with a better understanding of who Santa really is and that there is much more to us then taking toy lists.”
Hartke is also excited at the prospect of being with hundreds of Santas. “We were a little unsure of how the Santas would react to the movie and the history behind the character,” Hartke said. “Celebrate Santa is a tremendous affirmation for us that we are on the right track, and that it was long past time to tell this wonderful story.”
The two events will be promoting each other in order to gain as much exposure as possible prior to Celebrate Santa and afterwards.
Since the Celebrate Santa Festival is an annual event in Mid-March, we see an ongoing promotional opportunity for both entities,” Moore said.
There will be a great many opportunities to talk about both events as they dovetail each other so well,” Hartke said.
According to the Moore, Santas will be coming to Gatlinburg from more than 30 states, Canada and Australia.
We have also been in touch with Santas from Costa Rica, Italy, Sweden and other countries about attending,” he said.
More information can be found about Nicholas of Myra at www.nicholasofmyra-movie.com.