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Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland moves annual Santa visit online amid COVID concerns

Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 10:49 PM EST
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FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (WJRT) (11/05/2020)-It may sound shocking to see or say out loud, but believe it or not, Christmas is just 49 days away!

Coronavirus is putting a bit of a damper on some traditions, including the annual appearance from Santa at Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, though the world’s largest Christmas store still plans to deliver, just in a different fashion.

In Michigan, few spots are more synonymous with holiday cheer than Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, where the halls are decked year round.

“It’s been a family tradition for many families around the state over the years,” Lori Libka of Bronner’s related.

Part and parcel with the hand-painted ornaments, the nutcrackers and the Christmas trees is the annual visit from jolly old Saint Nick.

“It’s gone on for years and years and we were to the point where we are seeing, in a typical year, over 27-thousand children coming to visit Santa at Bronner’s,” Libka explained.

His sleigh can crisscross the world in 24 hours, but the pandemic has disrupted even Santa’s seasonal schedule.

“It just wouldn’t be possible for us to handle and keep guest capacity limits,” Libka related. “So, we came up with a backup plan for some Facebook Live video visits with Santa.”

Libka has the cheery task of putting these live streams together.

The switch, she said, also allows Bronner’s to take some creative license when it comes to the format of its sit-downs with Santa.

“One of those evenings, we’re going to visit Grandpa Tiny’s Farm, our neighbor across the street and meet their reindeer,” she said. “It gives us a special option like that.”

Kids will also still be able to grab that photo op with old Saint Nick. That too will look just a little different this year.

“We’ll have some photo templates available where they can Photoshop their children right in there with Santa,” Libka explained.

Bronner’s Facebook Live Santa visit dates and times are as follows:

-November 27 7:00 pm

-December 3 7:00 pm

-December 10 7:00 pm

-December 17 7:00 pm

Click here for a link to the store’s Facebook page.

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