GREENWICH, Conn. -- Santa is rounding up his live reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen for the fifth annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop at McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center, starting with a parade down Greenwich Avenue on Nov. 29.
The Greenwich Reindeer Parade begins at 2 p.m. Friday with Santa leading his reindeer down Greenwich Avenue on a festive truck and trailer decorated by McArdle’s.
They will be accompanied by First Selectman Peter Tesei, James McArdle and Courtney Kane from News 12 Connecticut, who will ride in two Mercedes-Benz convertibles, along with the Greenwich Police and Fire Department. Starting at First Presbyterian Church, they will make their way to McArdle’s.
There, McArdle’s is magically transformed into a holiday wonderland as the reindeer arrive in their new home for the month and Santa’s Workshop officially opens for photos with Santa. Everyone is invited to a welcoming “We’re Back Party” with refreshments provided by Eatalian Style.
Families, children, corporate groups and even pets can have their photo taken with Santa. Photo packages begin at $29.99 and include a reusable gift bag provided by rag & bone filled with Community Coupon’s book with hundreds of dollars in savings from participating downtown Greenwich stores and restaurants, plus a copy of Greenwich Magazine and Fairfield Parent Magazine.
Digital photos will also be available with photo packages. Everyone who has their photo taken can enter a raffle to win a Mercedes-Benz pedal car, a child’s ultimate holiday gift, from Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich. Two winners will be named Dec. 24.
“It’s wonderful to have an event like this in downtown Greenwich to infuse the community with the holiday spirit and to drive people to our town and our excellent stores and restaurants,” said Tesei.
Throughout the festival, there will be a Kids in Crisis Giving Tree at McArdle’s so customers can donate to the organization. On December 7 and 8, during the 5th Annual Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend, $5 of every photo package will be donated to Kids in Crisis.
The 5th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop will take place Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reindeer feeding times will take place daily at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Families can also pick up a copy of Reindeer Fun Facts compiled by Alexandra Heaven, a Greenwich fifth-grader. These include information about the animals, the mystery of their antlers – they shed each year, eating habits and a special recipe for magical reindeer dust.
The reindeer will head to the North Pole on December 23, but Santa will remain until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve before beginning his busy night.
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