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Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2007

Santas keep magic of Christmas alive

July 26, 2007

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— Christmas might be months away, but that didn't stop 150 international Santas and their little helpers from prancing about Wednesday in the Danish summer.

Whether he's called Papa Noel, St. Nick or Father Christmas, the iconic figure is needed everywhere, said Mack Fysh, a Canadian Santa.

"We all see Santa as an anchor," said Fysh, sporting a white fake beard.

Fred Osther, a Norwegian colleague, with a long, gray beard and a conical hat, agreed.

"Santa is here to stay," Osther said on the last day of a three-day Santa convention. "He has something magic and we need that magic, we need that childish dream."

The annual event, created 50 years ago to entertain children five months before Christmas, was held at the Bakken amusement park near the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Over the years, it bloomed from a local summer festival to a gathering of Santas from around the world.

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