Santa's Castle brings Christmas to life for all generations - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Santa's Castle brings Christmas to life for all generations

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STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) -

"It's kind of like Christmas all around," 9-year-old Alexander Eich, of Prescott, WI said.

"'Wow!' I mean, it's a lot of Christmas. It definitely gets you in the mood. There's not a dull moment here," Stuart Chambers, of Johnston, IA said.

And, that's exactly how it should be at Santa's Castle in Storm Lake, IA.

The landmark has stood for more than half a century and each year those who run the castle said they try to bring in something new or, in this year's case, old.

Two 6-foot toy soldiers used to be outside in 1973. Now, they have been restored and are standing tall indoors for all visitors to enjoy.

The castle means a great deal to many families who visit.

"This is a special family tradition and I remember looking forward to seeing Santa every year and we would come as a family," Amy Fondroy Eich, of Prescott, WI said.

"It feels like Christmas. It puts you in the Christmas spirit," Julie Pedersen, of Alta IA said.

It's a place where memories come back to life.

"We have been coming here about 45 years. Our kids were just babies the first time we came," Doris Fondroy, of Albert City, IA said.

Now, Fondroy's babies are all grown up and they're bringing their own youngsters.

"It's been really special to be able to bring our kids here to see Santa and all of the animated displays." Amy Fondroy Eich said.

For Amy, meeting Santa used to be her favorite part. Now, she feels a little too old. She still encouraged her children to sit on his lap and take a photo.

"My favorite part is where we find all the reindeer and we play with the trains," Amy's son Alexander Eich said.

Regardless of what people look forward to most, Santa's castle curator Ron Stevenson said, "everybody comes through the door happy."

And, they leave in the Christmas spirit.

Stevenson said Better World Books donated 5,000 books to the castle.

Santa will be giving one to each child and there are 1,000 more books ready in case they run out.

 

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