I have many names, from all over the world, but you probably know me as Santa Claus. I wasn’t born in Hartford, but I have been visiting for a long, long time. (Actually, I lost count somewhere around 550 years). Mrs. Claus and I enjoy playing in Hartford year-round, not just during the Christmas season when delivering presents to all of the good little girls and boys.

We Claus’ love the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Mark Twain House and Rentschler Field among other great attractions- and who doesn’t love to come and see the great hockey games at the XL center…Go Whale!!!

As you can tell from my belly, Mrs. Claus and I love to go out for dinner after a long day of toy building. There are so many great restaurants in Hartford and we have probably eaten in all of them- and loved it. The wonderful entertainment at the Bushnell, Hartford Stage and Theaterworks help us unwind too.

I want boys and girls to know that they needn’t be nervous to visit me, even if they think they might be on the naughty list. We can talk about it and figure out a way to get them back on the nice list. I myself have been on the naughty list many times – just ask Mrs. Claus. There was that one time I got her a vacuum cleaner for Christmas – very bad idea…

I think that new ice skating rink in Bushnell Park is pretty cool. I love to ice skate, but I don’t want to take up too much space on the ice – that should be saved for the children and guests. I’m happy just to be there, meeting all of the boys and girls of Hartford and checking their lists.

I want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to know me, so I will be at the Bushnell Park Carousel for Winterfest every Saturday and Sunday from Noon – 3pm until Christmas. Children can come see me with their lists, wishes and smiles.

I have so many joyful memories in Hartford and I am looking forward to making more this year. I hope you will join me.

Photo credit: Mark Mirko, Hartford Courant.