A trip to North Pole

Well, yeah, it’s pretty cheesy, but I had to make a stop in North Pole, about 14 miles from Fairbanks, to say I’d been there… and to send mail postmarked with that all-important North Pole stamp to my nieces and nephews and to my one elf-crazy sister. Obviously it’s not the REAL North Pole, but it’s a town with a fascinating obsession with Christmas, named in the 1950s by folks who were hoping to draw toymakers to the area. They’ve had plenty of fun, it seems, Christmasfying their town, with candy-cane-striped light poles, holiday-themed businesses and yuletide street names (St. Nicholas Drive, Snowman Lane, Santa Claus Lane, Kris Kringle Drive, Holiday Road, etc.). And then there’s that gigantic fiberglass Santa Claus, standing 42 feet high and weighing 900 pounds–the world’s largest Santa. (The real Santa, whom I met inside, was a right jolly old elf.)

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