By Landdis Hollifield
Time flies when you’re having fun—or in Santa’s case—when you’re busy getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year.
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park recently sat down with Jolly Old St. Nick to find out how he’s preparing for his upcoming visits to the Park on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 9.
Question: What have you been up to since last Christmas? Hopefully, you had some downtime.
Answer: I always try to spend some quality time with Mrs. Claus after the holiday rush. Of course, I’m always watching the naughty or nice list, but I do take some time off to bake cookies, brush the reindeer and make snowmen with the elves. In July, I started gearing up for my visit to Chimney Rock.
Question: Why do you climb the Park’s Chimney every year and how do you prepare for the descent?
Answer: There’s no better way to prepare to deliver toys to children around the world than with a climb down the Park’s 315-foot Chimney. A lot of people think I use my magic to make my way down Chimney Rock, but I save that for Christmas eve. A few months before December, I start training for my climb by walking the Outcroppings steps at the Park in disguise. After a few weeks of walking, I’m more than ready for the climb.
Question: What’s your favorite part of visiting the Park?
Answer: I love seeing all the boys and girls and hearing what they want for Christmas. One of my favorite parts of climbing the Chimney is looking down from the top of Chimney Rock and seeing
all the shops and houses in the Gorge. The view is beautiful and seeing the houses below helps me plan stops on Christmas eve.
Questions: Do you have any advice for boys and girls that will be coming to see you this year?
Answer: My advice is to be kind, listen to your parents and think about others. Christmas is a special time of the year and sometimes all it takes is a kind heart and smile to make someone’s day or week better. I hope to see a lot of smiles during my time at Chimney Rock.
Landdis Hollifiled is Public Relations and Promotions Manager, Chimney Rock State Park.