Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – Where does Santa go after Christmas?
Sure, the real Santa goes to the North Pole. What about the Santa display that lights up downtown Fort Wayne during the holidays?
Try New Haven.
“Our second president, Don Wolf, was a big community activist and actually volunteered us for the job,” says Allison Meyer, Senior Communications Specialist with Do it Best, Corp.
Every year, a crew from Shambaugh & Son removes the display from the PNC Bank Building, packs it into two custom semi trailers, and backs it into a heated and enclosed warehouse near the Do it Best headquarters.
Not the showiest storage for such a public display, but entirely practical.
“It’s huge, that it’s stored inside,” says Shambaugh & Son’s Greg Finner, who has cared for Santa for 15 years.
“The longevity of this display is enhanced by being inside and out of the weather.”
Wolf was part of the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, which took over the possession and care of the display after it was famously lost with the demise of Wolf and Dessauer department store.
“The English Bonter Mitchell Foundation is a broad based charitable foundation and is also concerned about preserving the history of Fort Wayne,” explains committee member Mike Eikenberry.
The foundation partners with PNC Bank: the bank promotes the Night of Lights event while the foundation cares for the display.