Meet Santa and his reindeer through Dec. 24

Nws-Reindeer-fest-11-27Santa is rounding up Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen — his live reindeer — to return to McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center for the 5th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop, taking place Nov. 29 through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2013.

At approximately 2 p.m. on Nov. 29, the Greenwich reindeer “parade” begins with Santa leading his reindeer down Greenwich Avenue on a festive truck and trailer decorated by McArdle’s. They will be accompanied by First Selectman Peter Tesei, James McArdle and Courtney Kane from News 12 Connecticut, who will ride in two Mercedes-Benz convertibles, along with the Greenwich Police and Fire Department, to the store.

There, McArdle’s is magically transformed into a holiday wonderland as the reindeer arrive in their new home for the month and Santa’s Workshop officially opens for photos with Santa. Everyone is invited to a welcoming “We’re Back Party” with refreshments provided by Eatalian Style. Families, children, corporate groups and even pets can have their photo taken with Santa.  Photo packages begin at $29.99 and include a reusable gift bag filled with a Community Coupon’s book with hundreds of dollars in savings from participating downtown Greenwich stores and restaurants, plus a copy of Greenwich Magazine and Fairfield Parent Magazine.

Digital photos will also be available with photo packages. In addition, everyone who has their photo taken can enter a raffle to win a Mercedes-Benz pedal car, a child’s ultimate holiday gift, from Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.

“It’s wonderful to have an event like this in downtown Greenwich to infuse the community with the holiday spirit and to drive people to our town and our excellent stores and restaurants,” said Mr. Tesei.

Throughout the festival, there will be a Kids in Crisis Giving Tree at McArdle’s so customers can donate to the organization. On Dec. 7 and 8, during the 5th Annual Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend, $5 of every photo package will be donated to Kids in Crisis.

The 5th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop will take place Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reindeer feeding times will take place daily at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The reindeer will head to the North Pole on Dec. 23, but Santa will remain until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve before beginning his busy night.

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