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The annual event, which draws hundreds of young children each year, will move from Carey Foster Hall to the indoor arena of the Crook County Fairgrounds

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Children are invited to create numerous Christmas arts and crafts at Santa's Workshop. The event has historically been held at Carey Foster Hall, but will move this year to the fairgrounds' indoor arena.

Santa's Workshop has been a long tradition in Prineville, initiated by former Crook County Parks and Recreation Director Jeannie Searcy.

"She wanted to have something where kids could make crafts for family members as presents for Christmas," CCPRD Recreation Coordinator Eli Tomlinson reflected on the beginnings of the workshop.

There are some big differences in the event this year, all of which will add positive changes to the Santa's Workshop, including a change in venue. This year's workshop has been moved from Carey Foster Hall to the indoor arena at the fairgrounds.

"We are going to have our traditional Santa's Workshop where kids can go make their crafts and take them home and wrap them, and give them to their family members," Tomlinson said.

The middle and high school Honor Society and Leadership programs will have 30-40 students coming to help with the crafts, in addition to any other youth who wish to help volunteer.

"They are a big part of the success of this, because without those volunteers, it would be a lot harder to do," Tomlinson said.

In all, there will be more than 16 free craft stations to choose from for participants. While kids are making their treasures, parents can take advantage of a vendor bazaar, where vendors will be selling their hand-crafted Christmas gifts.

"Parents can shop while the kids are making their creations," said Tomlinson. "Sheena York with Firefly events will help us put on the vendor portion, with decorations to really make it a beautiful area."

"We are going to try to transform the indoor arena to a winter wonderland," said York, of Firefly Events.

She said they currently have 16 vendors but would welcome more applicants. Applications are available on CCPRD's Facebook events page.

Kids can meet Santa at Santa's Village and then watch a showing of the Movie "Elf." Santa will be available from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and free photos with Santa will also be available.

The day's events kick off at 10 a.m. The Lions Club of Prineville will be selling breakfast and lunch, with most items under $5.

"They will start serving breakfast at 10 a.m. when things open up," Tomlinson said.

The food will be served in the open area and entryway to the arena. Lunch will be a blended menu, and lunch should begin at approximately 11 a.m.

This year's Santa Workshop will provide a variety of activities for the entire family, complete with the traditional workshop for kids, food, fun decorations, vendors and a movie.

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Santa's Workshop Schedule

Venue: Crook County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena

Doors open at 10 a.m.

Breakfast served beginning at 10 a.m.

Craft Bazaar: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Vendors: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Santa's Village: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; free photos with Santa

The movie "Elf" begins at 2 p.m.


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