Ken McPherson is presenting a program on “Charlie Howard, The Santa Claus School, and Christmas Park” on Saturday, September 23rd at 1pm at the Cobblestone Church. Ken is a Santa School graduate and has amassed a large collection of memorabilia from the life and times of Albion’s own Santa, Charlie Howard. In the late 1940s, Charles Howard started to convert three large barns on his farm into what became Christmas Park. This small attraction became known all over the Northeastern United States. Part of his concept with Christmas Park was to give his Santa Claus School a working campus with a classroom, dressing rooms, and extensive props to help better educate the student Santas.
In 1948 he became Santa for the Macy’s Parade in New York City and continued with the Parade until 1965. His Santa career led to appearances on television, in magazines, and newspapers; including: What’s my Line, To Tell the Truth, The Tonight Show, Life Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post. He also contributed on Miracle on 34th Street.
Ken McPherson got interested in Howard in 1981 when he bought his first Santa suit from Elizabeth Babcock, who made Santa suits for Charlie Howard. Ken also became close with Gale Bergman (Charlie’s daughter) and her children. Ken will be showing memorabilia he has collected over the years following his Santa School graduation. The Cobblestone Museum also has one of the Christmas Park guest books that were signed by thousands of visitors to the park. Printed copies of a book produced by the Albion Middle School Service Learning students will be available for purchase.
Ken’s presentation will be held Saturday, September 23 at 1pm at the Cobblestone Museum Church, 14389 Ridge Road, Albion. This is a free public presentation. A free-will donation will be gladly accepted.