Santa’s Mailbox Arrives At Lange Park
By MIRIAM FINDER ANNENBERG
Journal & Topics Reporter
For many people, the end of Thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of the winter holiday season. This is true for Rosemont residents, as well. In the days following Thanksgiving, Rosemont officials light up the tree at Stephens Park and turn on the lights at MB Financial Park and throughout the village. And, the Rosemont Park District gets a new addition of its own: a mailbox to be filled with letters postmarked to Santa Claus.
“This has been around since before I’ve been here,” said Rosemont Park District Program Director Omar Camarillo. “We put out a decorative mailbox here at the front counter and kids can actually write a letter to Santa.”
The box appeared at the park district building in Margaret J. Lange Park on Monday and stays through Dec. 12. During this time, children from throughout Rosemont can write their letters and wishes to Santa, seal them up, address them to Santa, and drop them at the Lange Park desk.
Shortly after sending the letters, children receive a message back from Santa Claus, sent straight from the North Pole and enclosed in a decorative envelope, helping it stand out from the rest of the mail.
“Karen [Stephens] the director here, she’ll take the letters and she reads them, and then she’ll write back,” Camarillo said. He said based on how busy they get, other staff members at the park district sometimes pitch in on the fun of responding to the Rosemont kids.
Camarillo said the park district typically receives anywhere from a dozen to 30 letters to Santa Claus over the course of a few weeks.
“[Parents] tell us how the kids get all excited,” Camarillo said. “We usually have a very positive review.”
Letters sent through the mail should be addressed to Santa, Rosemont Park District, 6140 N. Scott St., Rosemont, IL 60018.
Also in December, Rosemont children have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. On Sunday, Dec. 10, Santa, along with a few animal friends, hops on a fire truck at Fire Station No. 1 and rides through the gates of Rosemont’s gated community, creating a sort of parade.
From 1 to 4 p.m. that day, families can gather at Margaret Lange Park, partaking in snacks and activities and having their photo taken with Santa, giving kids another opportunity to share with Santa their wishes for Christmas and the upcoming year.