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Exhibit Now Open In Downtown Great Bend
For Great Bend artist Loretta Miller, it’s hard to imagine that a project she began working on more than two decades ago still remains a source of inspiration and pride for the community today. The exhibit known as “Santas Around the World,” showcasing 24 life-sized Santas, is now open to the public at 1223 Main street in downtown Great Bend.
“It is amazing, after all these years people are still engaged and interested in the Santas display,” reflected Miller. “Some tell me that it’s a tradition, that when their family is in town, they like to bring them down and see the Santas. I think that is so wonderful.”
Efforts to create a multi-cultural Santa display began 22 years ago when the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau contracted Miller to sculpt the first Santa. Following that inaugural success, she constructed several more pieces each year though a six-year period, until there were 24 Santas in the collection.
Originally, the Santas appeared in downtown retail stores of Great Bend. After a few years, however, they were moved as a group to the CPI Qualified Plan Consultants Annex, then to a building on Lakin and Kansas Streets. During that time, the Santas were donated to the Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation. They were moved to their current home, when Rosewood prepared to open its Wine Cellar eight years ago. Roots & Wings Foundation provides therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities to people in need who have developmental disabilities.
“Having the Santas in stores was fun with different stores being involved and people could come by and see the particular Santa represented in each store,” explained Miller. “But it really became more interesting when you could see them all in a beautiful setting with the backdrop of trees and lights in the area they are in now. It’s so beautiful; it’s like a winter wonderland. I definitely think that adds impact to them.”
The public can visit the international Santa display from 4-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from 1-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. People can schedule appointments outside of those hours by calling Mike at Rosewood Creations (620) 792-2536, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Santas exhibit will be on display through Dec. 24. Adding to the ‘Santas’ experience, the City of Great Bend provides a free opportunity for Santa Claus to visit with children at that location during the same regular hours that the Santas exhibit is open to the public.
There is no charge to visit the exhibit, but a freewill donation is suggested to provide funds to Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation that go toward helping to maintain the ‘Santas Around the World’ exhibit. Also, a portion of the funds are donated to Great Bend’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program for helping to man the booth through the season.
“I really didn’t think that much about the impact I was making until I visited the (Santas Around The World) website and saw the story about me creating them,” said Miller. “It’s a nice thing to have people know about you and the story behind the creation of the Santas. My kids have never seen them. When they come to town it’s right during Christmas Day and the exhibit has just closed. But some day I would like them to see it. It’s amazing that the people who come to town are so interested in them. Rosewood has done such a great job of showcasing each one of them in the collection.”
People can find out more about the exhibit by visiting the website, SantasAroundTheWorld.com.
Find more about Santas Around The World online, SantasAroundTheWorld.com
Follow us at https://www.facebook.com/SantasAroundTheWorld
For more information, contact Michael Dawes, PR & Marketing, 620-792-2536
November 29, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-792-2536, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com