Before making his rounds, Santa stops by children’s museum |

Before making his rounds, Santa stops by children’s museum

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Eva Lindbloom, 15-months, of Dayton, sits with Santa Claus at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada on Saturday. Marilyn Lewis, a Carson State Farm agent, sponsored Santa's visit to the museum.

Santa made one last stop en route to the North Pole, at the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada on Saturday.

Judging from the capacity crowd (more than 60 children eager for those sugarplums to come dancing lined up out the front door of the museum at 10 a.m.), many had yet to share their Christmas wishes with the droll old elf himself.

“I’m glad I got to see him today,” said Carson resident Emilee Jones, who was emphatic that the paper print her age as six-and-a-half. “I asked him for a Beary Bear. I hope I’ll be able to get one.”

Her father, Scot Jones, a Carson resident for seven years, said Emilee is a “big fan” of the museum – the family even has a membership.

But Saturday, he added, was special.

Seeing Santa in a place that encourages learning and creativity also was a bonus, Jones said.

“We don’t really do the mall thing, so it was nice to come down here and see Santa,” he said. “Nice. But busy.”

Marilyn Lewis, a Carson State Farm agent, sponsored Santa’s visit to the museum Saturday. The 30-year Carson resident (25 of which has been spent with the insurance company) said sponsoring Santa’s visit was not only a good way to get out in the community, but a good excuse to bring Santa to two very special people in her life – her grandchildren.

“They got to line up with all the other kids and it felt great to watch them with Santa – to see their faces,” Lewis said. “…But I think this was a great day for the whole community.

“One parent remarked the hardest part of the day was getting his (child) to leave.”

Parents and children seemed to linger long after Santa’s lap became vacant. From the museum’s hands-on exhibits like the balloon and vertical fan, a topographical map of Carson and a Smith’s Grocery Store, to holiday-only features like cookie decorating and reindeer “making” with “Willow Bill” – the museum buzzed with holiday activity late into the afternoon.

“I love Christmas and I love the kids, so of course this is where I’m going to be,” said “Willow Bill” Goulardt – who has been thatching together wooden reindeer from coyote willow branches for the past 14 years.

“I’ve pretty much got this down to a science,” he said. “But, even with my helpers, a (reindeer) can take up to an hour to make. It keeps getting bigger every year though. Next year we hope to have 150 reindeer lining 395 to celebrate Carson’s 150th anniversary.”

Whether it was last-minute Christmas wish lists, 11th-hour reindeer building or decorating that sugar cookie just so for Rudolph to enjoy – three days before Christmas and the holiday flourished inside the downtown museum.

“I think this is what the holidays are about,” said Drew Simmons, Carson State Farm’s office manager, also on-hand to help sponsor the event. “What they say about kids’ faces lighting up – it’s completely true.”