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Documentary looks back at 70 years of Santa’s Village

The Norwood Theatre in Bracebridge will host a screening of a documentary looking back at 70 years of Santa’s Village.

Jamie Hopkins, chief executive officer of Santa’s Village, says the iconic Bracebridge theme park was opened in 1955 as a way to bring people to Bracebridge who were driving by on the then newly constructed Hwy. 11.

“The founding fathers of Santa’s Village felt we really needed ot bring people in off the highway or else Bracebridge could become a bit of a bypass,” he explains.

With Bracebridge being located half way between the equator and the North Pole, it made sense to built Santa a summer home in Cottage Country.

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Over its seven deaces in operation, Hopkins says a lot has changed and they’re lucky most of it was documented.

“There is such a rich history with this place,” he says. “It’s so connected to the community so we felt it was important to get this chronicaled in video form.”

Hopkins says some of the “golden footage” included in the 45 minute documentary is of Premier Leslie Frost visiting the park for its opening ceremony on May 21, 1955.

The documentary will be shown on April 20 at 2 p.m. with tickets available online. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Manna Food Bank in Bracebridge.

“Right from the outset it was a community effort,” says Hopkins about the creation of Santa’s Village, adding it makes sense to continue that tradition and support a worthy cause.

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