Santa’s Depot gearing up to celebrate the arrival of Santa

J. H. Osborne • Nov 17, 2019 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Centennial Park will be filled with the magic of the holiday season Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. in celebration of Santa Claus’ official arrival in the Model City.

Santa’s Depot, presented by Appalachian Power, CSX, and the Kingsport Chamber, is timed and designed to welcome the 77th annual Santa Train.

Children will receive an official Santa’s Depot activity passport when they arrive at the event. Sponsored booths and activities include free hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, Santa hats, airbrush holiday tattoos and coloring books. Other activities include a chance to see live reindeer, sit in Santa’s sleigh, and take family selfies with Centennial Park’s Santa sculpture.

Food trucks will be onsite with special offerings available for purchase.

Santa’s Depot serves as the official site to create and mail letters to Santa. Children are invited to write their letters onsite and place them in the large red mailbox, where they will be retrieved by Santa when he arrives on the Santa Train.

At approximately 3 p.m., the Santa Train will make its final stop in Kingsport. Santa and his special guest, Marty Stuart, will disembark and head to the Santa’s Depot Stage for a special performance.

All activities are free to children. But based on attendance in past years, organizers point out it might not be possible for everyone to do everything.

“Due to expected crowd size, we cannot guarantee that each child will get to participate in every activity, but we can promise a magical day!” said Robin Cleary, coordinator for Santa’s Depot.

Santa issued a reminder to all attendees: he’ll be watching to see who stays on his “nice list,” so keep these tips from him in mind:

• Only one activity passport per child.

• Activities and treats are for children only.

• Be kind.

• Be patient.

• Share.

• Follow the rules and enjoy the event

Event sponsors: Appalachian Power, CSX, Ballad Health, Brown and Edwards & Company LLP, Downtown Kingsport Association, Eastman Credit Union, Greater Kingsport Family YMCA, Kingsport Chamber, Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry, Marriott MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center, Mattern & Craig, The High Road Agency, Visit Kingsport.

Santa and his elves encourage attendees to share their pictures on social media using #SantasDepotKPT.