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Santa has a present for downtown Sandusky

Jason Werling • Nov 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

The “Dahoo Dorayz” night is this Friday in Sandusky. I call it that because it reminds me of the scene from Dr. Suess’s “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” when all the Whos from Whoville dance around the tree and sing even though they don’t have any Christmas presents.

This year the “Whos” of Sandusky will have a new present under a tree in Washington Park. The Cookie House, the Sandusky stop for Santa Claus, has been refurbished and brought into the 21st century with an electronic-controlled lighting display set to music.

The iconic Sandusky stopping point for Santa Claus has new walls, roof, windows and a fresh coat of paint. A project was completed by a multitude of “Santa’s Little Helpers” including Jules Bahnsen, who took the lead on the project, getting started almost a year ago. “It has meant the world to me,” said Bahnsen, “it has brought ‘Christmas Past’ back. I love Christmas.”

With donations from 100 businesses and countless individuals, the reincarnation of the Cookie House is sure to impress even the greenest of Grinches. The wood classes from Sandusky High School helped Bahnsen replace the windows in the house. During deconstruction pictures and letters from the past were found displayed on a board when the windows were removed. Bahnsen plans on getting the long, lost letters and pictures framed and put on display.

Bahnsen wanted to keep some of the new features of the house a surprise so I agreed to only photograph the wall of the people that helped with the project. The rest of the interior will be a surprise saved for those who show up Friday night. There are more surprises than just the inside of the house as the high school’s welding class created a train that will be lit and animated in front of the floral clock near the entrance to the Cookie House.

Bahnsen is looking forward to this Friday’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. that will kick off the holiday season as Santa arrives in downtown Sandusky. “I’m hoping to see3,000 to 5,000 people downtown,” said Bahnsen.

I know I am excited too. It has become a family tradition and my boys, Will, 5, and Payton, 3, are sure to get a kick out of all the festivities this Friday night. The older they get, the longer their list gets.

Generous people or companies can still send donations to the Sandusky Community Celebrations Council at 1416 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870; or e-mail santaskids01@aol.com

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