North pole comes to Park Rapids

The American Legion Auxiliary hosted a drive-through Santa's workshop on Dec. 4.

Mrs. Claus (Erin Hensel) and Santa (Todd Cadwell) hear the Christmas wishes of Myles and Liam MacKenzie during a drive-through children's Christmas party Dec. 4, 2022 at American Legion Post 212 in Park Rapids.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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According to the sign in the parking lot on Sunday, the Park Rapids American Legion was somewhere between the north pole and Santa’s house.

Meanwhile, a line of cars wrapped halfway around the block, full of families waiting to visit Santa’s drive-through workshop.

The Park Rapids American Legion parking lot was somewhere between the north pole and Santa's house on Dec. 4, 2022, according to this sign, while families lined up by the carload to visit a drive-through Santa's workshop.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

The American Legion Auxiliary hosted the children’s Christmas party, with merry elves running back and forth between waiting vehicles and an ice house, relaying requests for age-appropriate presents for boys and girls.

Todd Cadwell and Erin Hensel embodied Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Santa's elves, including Lynn Cadwell, Gina Porozinski, Lynette McFarren, Renee Buggert, Legion Auxiliary Pres. Linda Swanson and Jodi Erickson (not pictured) ensure that each child receives an age- and sex-appropriate gift during the drive-through Christmas party Dec. 4, 2022 at the Park Rapids American Legion.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

“We love doing this for the kids,” said Cadwell. “This is our second year doing this, and we just absolutely love helping out the community in every way we can.”


“Those kids are so cute,” said Hensel, “and they’re so appreciative. It’s a great way to spend part of your holiday season.”

Thousands of people came to Wadena between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day to view the Christmas in Wadena animated light show, with many of them donating to the cause.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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