Santa returns to venerable throne on SE 82nd Avenue
As he did back in the 1960s, when Eastport Plaza was about the only shopping center around, Santa Claus returns there each year to greet families in December.
Im so happy that Santa is here again this year, said Eastport Plaza Shopping Center General Manager Dianne Gill, as the final decorations were being put in place.
Like last year, Santa here has a temporary home away from his North Pole home, dedicated for his use, called Santas Place, Gill said.
The kindly and soft-spoken Mr. Claus whom guests will meet has real flowing white hair and a real beard, and is dressed in his Holiday finest.
Santas Place is ideal for very young children for their first meeting with the jolly old fellow, Gill observed, because his throne room is fancifully-decorated yet quiet, and its away from the Holiday hustle and bustle. Santas Throne, crafted in 1960, still sparkles like new.
Some of guests say they are glad that their children, or grandchildren, are able enjoy the very same experience they remember, of sitting on Santas lap here, Gill said.
And, theres no commercial photographer at Santas Place, forcing families to sign up for expensive photo packages to be able to sit on Santas lap. Here, we encourage families to bring their cameras or use their cell phones to take their own pictures – for free.
Additionally, guests find games, toys, and crafts at the location.
While all of the activities are free, it is a charitable event as well, Gill reminded. We think Christmas should be about giving, says Manager Dianne Gill. Thats why we established Santas Place here.
Were again delighted to bring a free visit with Santa to our community, Gill said. At the same time, we hope our guests will help people in need by bringing new and unwrapped toys, new coats or new blankets, boxed or canned food – or cash donations for one or more of the charities represented at Santas Place.
Guests may choose to contribute to:
·Salvation Army Angel Tree Gifts
·Trillium Family Services Gift Tag
·Sunshine Division Food Barrel
"The best part for me," Gill concludes, "is seeing the fun that adults have when they visit, and the wonder and amazement in the little ones' eyes."
Santas Place at Eastport Plaza
4000 S.E. 82nd Avenue
Open through December 24
Hours: Days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; evenings from 4 until 8 pm
Kids must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Information: Call 503/771-3817, or visit www.eastportplaza.com