July 19, 2006
Connie Wingren said, "More than 500 Santas, Mrs. Clauses and Elfs were in attendance at the convention." She said many great workshops were presented enabling Santas to "hone" their skills. "It was a very uplifting experience and it was great to see so many men and their wives who truly believe in Santa and the Sprit of a Christ filled Christmas," said Wingren.
Photo courtesy Jim & Connie Wingren
According to the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas' website, this International Organization currently lists over 950 "Real Bearded" Gentlemen in their registry who are dedicated to the Joy of being Santa.
Quoting a statement released from the North Pole, "Yes, hundreds of Gentlemen, with real flowing white beards and dressed in red, gathered for a special meeting in Branson, Missouri. They are the brothers, cousins and descendents of this Holiday figure know by many names - Saint Nicholas, Père Noël, Sinter Claus, Bobo Natale, Father Christmas, Grandfather Frost, Kris Kringle and most commonly . . . Santa Claus. Yes, there were hundreds of men dressed in Red in attendance... including THE REAL SANTA CLAUS!"
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