Saturday, July 09, 2011

Christmas in July

We went to North Pole today. Not the north pole, but North Pole, Alaska, a town about 15 miles outside of Fairbanks with a population just over 1,600 people.

It got it's name when the original inhabitants thought they could induce a toy manufacturer to take up residence here. Instead, they got two oil refineries, an all-female Roller Derby team called the North Pole Babes in Toyland, and the biggest attraction of all -- the Santa Claus House, a Bronneresque Christmas/Tourist shop that claims to have the world's largest fiberglass Santa:

Inside, tucked between the t-shirts and the ornaments is, of course, Santa:
(When I mentioned to John that he didn't give us a piece of candy like he did the child before us, John just said, "that cheap s*n of a b*tch!" At least the photos were free.)

Outside were some rather lethargic, woeful, and molting reindeer:

Their feet have little extensions next to their hooves -- probably the wings that allow them to fly:
The town half-heartedly joins in the merriment -- the Wendy's had a wreath, two decorated trees, and some plastic snowflakes with blinking blue lights, and the town makes its streetlights look like red-striped candy canes. Oddly, a welding company -- not usually a business highly associated with December merriment -- has done its part to prop up the town's faux holiday atmosphere:
Although it is a well-mentioned historic stop along the Alaska Tourist Route, the town is really showing its age. The wooden elf signs seem dusty, the reindeer seem tired, and the Santa's fiberglass beard is cracking.

Sadly, the best part of North Pole is the view you see when leaving:

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