The original concept of a state organization began in 2007 when Santa Charlie Allen contacted the President of another Santa organization and suggested the concept of a state organization. The president liked the idea and then appointed Santa Charlie as the Northeastern Regional Director, which included 15 states and parts of Canada.
A few new ideas were presented to the organization. Unfortunately there grew a net of dissatisfaction between some of the officials. Santa Charlie Allen resigned the position in 2008 because of the internal turmoil.
2008 Santa Charlie tried to set up a state meeting and failed as he couldn’t get sufficient number of Santas to cover the cost of the hotel room. The following year Santa Charlie had received a request for a Santa job in a town near the boarder of New York. Santa Bill Dexter was contacted for the assignment.
When the season was over Santa Bill Dexter came to Rocky Hill to have lunch with Santa Charlie at the Dakota Steakhouse. In conversation Santa Charlie mentioned how he tried to form a gathering of Santas without success. The two agreed to work together to form a Santa group.
Santa Bill then contacted his friend Santa Bob Smith and invited him to work with us to develop a group of Santas in the Hartford area. Santa Bob said, “Why Hartford, how about Torrington, home of the Christmas Village.”
On October 2, 2010 the first gathering there were twenty three Mrs. Clauses and Santas which was held in Torrington. The name of organization at that time was New England Santa Claus Society. Several years later it was changed to the present name CT Society of Santas.
The second annual Connecticut Society of Santas gathering was held in Torrington at The Yankee Peddler Inn on October 8th and 9th. This event was complete with workshops, vendors, and carol singing. On Saturday the Santas, Mrs. Claus, and Elves paraded up Main St. and then sang their way to Torrington’s historic Carl Bozenski Christmas Village. There they were treated to a brief tour of the world famous Torrington landmark.
The 2012 Santa’s Workshop Weekend was held November 2nd – 4th at The Litchfield Inn in Litchfield Connecticut. The event was expanded to include appearances by CTSS members at a wine tasting event hosted at Torrington’s historic Warner Theater on Friday night. Saturday featured a day long slate of events which included a Children’s Costume Parade, Professional Photo Sessions with Santa, and an evening fund raiser Dinner Dance to benefit Operation E.L.F., Toys for Tots, Litchfield County Food Bank, and Torrington’s Carl Bozenski Christmas Village. The parade featured children in their Halloween costumes along with Santas, Mrs. Claus, Elves, and even the Grinch.
The outdoor event was kicked off with a Carol Sing led by the Litchfield High School Brass Ensemble followed by a parade led by CTSS co-founder Charlie Allen in a riding in a vintage Ford Model T and the Litchfield High School Brass Ensemble. The morning session included educational seminars as well as presentations by CTSS members and was capped off with a Fashion Show for Santas. Sunday featured “Breakfast with Santa” as well as another Professional Photo Session with Santa.
CTSS members participated in “Christmas around the World”. They were treated to decadent foods from around the world prepared by The Litchfield Inn Chef. The morning also included presentations on Christmas customs and traditions from around the world. CTSS also held the CTSS Arts & Crafts Festival featuring handmade items from local crafters.
The 2013 CTSS Fall Gathering was held November 2nd and 3rd at Coco Key Water Resort in Waterbury Connecticut and was expanded to include several fund raiser events as well as many events for the local children. CTSS ran double workshop sessions for its members adding several new topics to compliment the standard Santa core curriculum offered at its annual workshops.
Along with the annual CTSS Arts and Crafts Festival CTSS added a Festival of Trees Silent Auction, a Winter Wonderland Christmas Village complete with a working model railroad, and a magic show for the children. On Saturday evening there was a concert presented by the Litchfield County Children’s Choir. There were also plenty of photo opportunities with Santa at the CTSS “Photos with Santa” event held throughout the weekend.
On Sunday the annual CTSS Santa Parade was held with music provided by the Waterbury Salvation Army Band. The fund raising events during the weekend were to benefit several organizations including The Salvation Army, Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries Food Bank, Operation E.L.F., and the Connecticut Society of Santas.
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