A town in the Indiana, United States, has been named Santa Claus since the 19th Century. On Route 162, a road sign leaps out like a Christmas star: Santa Claus. Four miles away. A 10-foot statue of the Santa Claus, on the town, welcomes all-comers. The high street is called Christmas Boulevard. The main development - where most of the town's 2,500 people live - is called Christmas Lake Village.
In this community, which began in the 1960s, the main streets are named after the three wise men - Melchior, Balthazar, and Kaspar. Others roads are named after Rudolph's reindeer. People in this town play with Christmas all the 365 days of the year, What is the story of the town ? In the 19th Century, the town was called Santa Fee. But, when residents applied for a post office, they were asked to pick another name - it sounded too similar to Santa Fe, 200 miles north.
Letters from Santa, at the postal office
It’s remembered since than that a little girl suggested the name to be Santa Claus. But that also means the letters sent to Santa Claus from all the U.S. come here. The post office now receives 20,000 letters every year. The person in charge of replying is the Chief Elf, Pat Koch. She is 86, has degrees in nursing and theology. Mrs Koch (pronounced Cook) leads a team of around 200 volunteers. They read the letters, take a printed reply, fill in the child's name, and add a personal message. It costs around $10,000 a year to send the letters and most of the cost is covered by donations. Santa Claus town is dominated by a huge theme park called Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, owned by Mrs Koch's family. The park gets over a million visitors a year but closes in November for winter. The Santa Claus Christmas Store opens in May and sells decorations and gifts. In Santa Claus, Indiana, the man with the red robes and white beard doesn't play Santa. He is Santa and all the residents are happy to be all the time in town.