- Santa’s Workshop is Friday

Seymour High School student host Allison Ferreira, left, assists young shopper Connor Stickle, then a second-grader at the Seymour Elementary School, at the Santa's Workshop event last year. This year's event arrives Friday.

Children and adults alike are invited, even urged, to visit the Seymour YMCA’s gymnasium this Friday.

The occasion is the annual Santa’s Workshop event sponsored by the Seymour Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), which will feature nearly 50 vendors offering a wide variety of Christmas gifts.

Every year, more than 1,000 shoppers of all ages visit for Santa’s Workshop.

Alicia Hagen, the event’s chairman for more than two decades, said this year’s workshop may be the best yet as all of her vendor booths were sold out weeks ago.

“I feel this year’s group of vendors will be the best we’ve were had here,” Hagen said. “And besides all of the great vendors who will be here at the YMCA, we’ll also have our raffles, the gingerbread-house contest and an all-day visit by Santa Claus.”

She noted that the workshop offers items for all budgets.

“That’s one of the special things about Santa’s Workshop,” Hagen explained. “Our vendors make sure that a majority of the items for sale are very affordable. So many of our shoppers are children, so the prices often are set by our vendors with that factor in mind.”

Doors for the event open at 8 a.m.

They remain open until 6 p.m.

There is no admission to attend.

Everyone is invited.

Concessions also are available, provided by members of the Seymour PTO. There is a wide range of food items, including hot food, desserts and drinks.

All students from the Seymour Elementary School will visit Santa’s Workshop at different times of the school day on Friday. Six grade levels visit from kindergarten through the fifth grade.

Photographs with Santa Claus will be offered.

Entries for the gingerbread-house competition are accepted until noon on the day of the workshop. Judging will follow, with several prizes to be awarded.

Free gift wrapping also is available to all shoppers.

“Since the creation of Santa’s Workshop, we’ve always advertised that it’s a place to get a perfect inexpensive gift for anyone,” Hagen concluded. “That still remains true. We want to invite everyone, including people in Seymour and all of the surrounding communities, to come and see us.”

She added that every child at the local elementary school will be able to make purchases at Santa’s Workshop, courtesy of the Seymour PTO, as all children who do not have money are given $5 to spend. In addition, several select children receive help from “Secret Santas,” who give larger amounts of shopping dollars to youngsters.

Anyone who wants to donate dollars to the PTO to help children at Santa’s Workshop can do so by contacting any Seymour PTO member or by calling Hagen at 417-840-7859.

Contributions will remain anonymous, if so requested.

Donations also can be dropped off at the Seymour Elementary School.

“The many people who give directly in the form of donations to the children for shopping help make this event very special for so many kids,” Hagen said.

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