Paris High School FFA members and art students have made the man playing Santa Claus in Paris this Christmas season a very jolly old elf.
The man, who asked that his name not be used, said the new Santa Shack, built this year by Paris FFA members, has made him a very "happy camper." The Santa Shack is located on the northern side of the Logan County Courthouse.
"I absolutely love it and feel blessed to have it," the man playing Santa Claus said. "I couldn’t have asked for a better house."
The older Santa Shack was "worn out" and was at Paris High School when it was damaged by high winds earlier this year. So, the decision was made to replace it.
The new Santa Shack is an eight-sided structure that features three very large windows and two doors, The poles attached to the structure are painted to look like candy canes. Inside, three walls have snow globes painted on them. Those were done by PHS art students. Students also painted the remaining interior. The snow globes depict a horse-drawn sleigh, the Logan County Courthouse and a snowman.
The Santa Shack is also wired for electricity to power lights and a space heater.
FFA students also took time in late November to set up the Nativity Scene, angel, reindeer and Santa’s sled they built around the Courthouse Square.
The city also provided the Santa Shack with a new red velvet chair to sit in.
"To put it mildly, you’ve got a very happy Santa Claus," the man playing Santa Claus said.
The shack was set up in late November and Santa started seeing children in it after the Christmas Lighting Ceremony and Parade on Nov. 30.
Last week, the man playing Santa Claus said the Christmas display on Courthouse Square continues to draw numerous visitors.
As of last Wednesday, more than 160 visitors had dropped by the Santa Shack. Last year, Santa saw 1,415 visitors. With the exception of last Friday, Santa was also on duty during the winter storm that moved through the area last week. Santa will visit with children through Dec. 23 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Some of the visitors are from out of state. For example, on Sunday Dec. 8, a lady from Tulsa and a family of four from Fresno, Calif. stopped by, the man playing Santa Claus said. He’s also seen a couple from Florida and a couple from Georgia. On Tuesday, Dec. 3, about 25 senior citizens from Russellville dropped by.
"We’re popular at Christmas," the man playing Santa Claus said. "I hear a lot of compliments about Courthouse Square. Everybody from out of state says they’ve never seen anything like this."