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Edinburg Santa on Display After Restoration Project

GI9A1422Edinburg, Texas (Dec. 12, 2017) – For more than 60 years the appearance of “big” Santa Claus has marked the beginning of the holiday season in the City of Edinburg.

Originally displayed in front of the courthouse, the holiday tradition continues at City Hall, where Santa now stands prominently overlooking the McIntyre Promenade.

Over the years Santa has been taken care of by the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library staff, who have helped with restoration throughout the years.

Library and Cultural Arts Director Letty Leija said, “As part of our duties of celebrating the cultural arts in the City, this is just one of the things that we do and we’re very happy and proud to help Santa be here at City Hall and make him available to the community.”

For many Edinburg natives, Santa has become an icon of the City during the holiday season.

“People remember when they were children and going and seeing him,” Leija said. “It’s exciting to be able to continue the tradition here in the City of Edinburg.”

The Santa, who is approximately 15 feet tall, is popular among children because of his height according to Leija.

“Especially when you’re children he can seem pretty tall, so we’re excited that new generations will be able to enjoy him,” she said.

Recently, Santa went through a major restoration process with the help of University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Assistant Professor Douglas Clark.

According to Clark, the work that needed to be done to help Santa was extensive and turned out to be a major project.

“He’s around 65 years old and all the wooden interior structure was too weak and rotted to save,” Clark said. “We had to cut it to pieces and rebuild the wooden frame inside and rebuild it back together.”

Additionally, Santa’s exterior had to be repainted by Clark’s team.

Throughout the restoration process, Clark and his team had many visitors from the community who wanted to take photographs with the iconic Santa.

“Everyone had stories to tell about when they were kids and their parents would take them to see him,” Clark said. “I’m very pleased with how it turned out.”

The work done by Clark and his team will help ensure Santa remains a staple of the City during the holidays.

“With the new interior it will last at least another 65 years,” Clark said. “It is well built now.”

The City of Edinburg Streets Department is responsible for taking care of Santa throughout the year and puts him out and puts him away.

Director of Public Works Tom Reyna said, “Every year we have to store him, cover him, and restore him. This year we were blessed with the Library who helped us remodel him.”

Throughout the year Santa sits in a designated storage area, and will soon have a custom tarp to protect him from the elements according to Reyna.

“I’m so excited and thanks to the Library for helping us with the beautification of Santa,” Reyna said. “Look at him. He looks fabulous.”

Santa is currently on display at the corner of McIntyre Street and 8 th Avenue overlooking the McIntyre Promenade and will remain there throughout the holiday season.

The community is encouraged to go out and enjoy him.