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Santas reconnect, kick off conference

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
GAINES – Members of Santa’s Drill Team perform a routine at Fair Haven Treasures this evening in Gaines. The Drill Team did beard inspections, ate cookies and sampled milk.

The Drill Team turned serious in honoring the American flag, in singing “God Bless America” and thanking God for the privilege of being Santa.

One of the Santas visiting Albion for the Charles W. Howard Legendary Santa Claus Conference has his camera phone out and takes photos of the Drill Team.

Bob Elkin is president and a charter member of the Palm Tree Santa’s Drill Team from Tampa, Fla.

These Santas are happy to shake hands and chat during a “meet and greet” at Fair Haven Treasures.

George Long (left), a Santa from near Orlando, Fla., is happy to meet with Joe Slifer, a Santa from Raleigh, N.C. They are pictured outside Fair Haven Treasures. Long is wearing his Santa workshop apron.

Long and Slifer are in town for the Charles W. Howard Legendary Santa Claus Conference, which runs until Sunday.

Many of the Santas will be back at Fair Haven on Friday at 2 p.m. for the dedication of an International Peace Garden.

Joe Slifer, right, also is happy to pose with this Santa who made the trip from Norway.

These Santas watch the Drill Team this evening. Many of the visiting Santas will be at the Elk’s Club on West State Street on Friday and Saturday during the morning and afternoon.

The Albion Middle School Auditorium will be used for the convention’s evening programs on Friday and Saturday.