LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Many good boys and girls missed out on an important holiday tradition in 2020: a visit with Santa.
But this is 2021, where COVID-19 vaccines are available for many Kentuckians, and it's a year for rebounding safely during the pandemic.
That's why in five days, Santa, himself, will make a return trip to Lexington.
Back in 2020, the jolly old elf stayed a safe space away while bringing holiday cheer.
"We got to visit children here at Waveland, but we were inside the home and the children were outside and we had microphones set up to where we could hear each other," said Santa. "But they were puzzled as to why they couldn't get close to Santa Claus."
Santa's southern home here at Waveland State Historic Site felt more empty as well. Weddings, parties, baseball games, and annual events were all canceled or greatly altered.
The home dates back to the 1840s and was built by the Bryan family. Charla Reed, the park's manager, says the family helped the community during the cholera epidemic by handing out ice.
"We didn't do ice for everybody this year, but we did do things for people," said Reed. Those things included last year's socially distanced Christmas.
But now, Santa is vaccinated and ready to hold in-person visits once again this weekend at Waveland exactly five months ahead of Christmas Eve.
"It's free. But we just want the kids to have a real Santa experience that they didn't get to have last year," said Santa. "It's just going to be nice to have a somewhat normal Christmas visit."
Christmas in July will be this Saturday in the Waveland barn from 1:00-5:00 pm, and it's free.
Reed says this is one of many events the park is excited to host as visitors begin to re-emerge.
"Business has been booming, so we're hoping that this year will make up for last year and some of the revenue that we lost," said Reed.
"It's been great, everything's been great. People have seemed really interested on my tours lately too which is always nice. People have good questions," said Montana Sandstorm, a historical interpreter and tour guide at the park.
On August 22 from 2:00-6:00 pm, the site will host a Car Cruise to benefit the "Friends of Waveland."