Letters to Santa at the Conway Rec

The Conway Recreation Department, in partnership with the Friends of Conway Rec., will host the 12th annual "Letters to Santa" Friday, Dec. 17, from 5-7 p.m. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONWAY — The Conway Recreation Department, in partnership with the Friends of Conway Rec., will host the 12th annual "Letters to Santa" Friday, Dec. 17, from 5-7 p.m. but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people will need to pre-register for time slots online for the second year in a row.

“This year, just like we did for Halloween, people have to preregister on our website (conwaynh.myrec.com),” Michael Lane, assistant recreation director, said. “We’re going to have limited space. I think it could sell out.”

The event, which is recommended for newborn to fourth-grade children from Conway and Albany although all children are welcome, will be held on the front steps of the Kennett Middle School.

“We’re asking people to register as a family and then list each child after that,” Lane said, adding there will be assigned time slots at 5, 5:30, 6 and 6:30 and 7 p.m. for people to attend.

He added: “When people arrive, they’ll park out back and there will be elves there to meet you. They will bring the families around and Santa will be at the top of the steps between the white pillars.”

This event is free but you must register to attend.

Lane said guests will be able to take a socially-distanced photo with Santa on the front step. Guests will take their own photos.

“Children will drop their letters to Santa in our mailbox to be delivered to the North Pole,” he said. “Children will receive a letter back from Santa in their goody bag.

“Each child who is registered will be invited into the Conway Rec after they have their photo taken with Santa to make reindeer food, sip hot cocoa and decorate a Christmas ornament.

“Elves will help guide families around the property to allow for social distancing.

Masks are recommended when inside the building.

"We've done pretty well in the past in terms of turnout," Lane said. "It's become extremely popular. We're hoping for another good crowd and Santa is looking forward to seeing the children."

He added: “We’re excited. This is one of our favorite events. We got together as a staff and all agreed to cancel wasn’t an option. We believe we’ve come up with a safe way to spread a little holiday cheer.”

Lane said if it snows, the event will go on as scheduled.

If you have questions about this popular event, contact Assistant Director Michael Lane at (603) 901-1139 or via e-mail at mike@conwayrec.com.

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