McArdle’s offers reindeer games and more

It’s that magical time of year again when Santa and his reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen, return to McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center on 48 Arch for the Fourth Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop.

On Friday, Nov. 23 at approximately 2 p.m., Santa will lead his live reindeer down Greenwich Avenue, accompanied by town officials, event sponsors and the Greenwich Police and Fire Departments. Starting at the First Presbyterian Church, they will make their way to McArdle’s, where the live reindeer will reside for one month.

There, Christmas lovers young and old can marvel at the reindeer and learn more about the special animals.

The festival officially opens at approximately 3 p.m. and holiday refreshments will be provided for all by Avenue Café, which recently opened on Greenwich Avenue.

Inside McArdle’s, the store will be transformed into Santa’s Workshop, an unforgettable holiday wonderland where families, children, corporate groups and even pets can have their photo taken with Santa, also starting at 3 p.m. Photo packages begin at $29.99 and include special coupons to shop at participating downtown Greenwich stores and restaurants. Last year, more than 800 photos with Santa were taken and many more are expected this year.

This year’s festival will also feature a new component known as Reindeer Fun Facts which is educational information about the animals, the mystery of their antlers, eating and sleeping habits and more.

“It’s wonderful to have an event like this in downtown Greenwich to drive economic development for the merchants and showcase this beautiful town,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said. “And since we’ve been through some challenging times recently, it’s nice to have something enjoyable for the community this holiday season. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop and at the upcoming Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend on December 1 and 2.”

“We are thrilled to continue to host this highly anticipated holiday tradition again this year,” said James McArdle, Jr.

The Fourth Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop will take place Nov. 23 through Dec. 24. The hours Monday through Friday are from noon to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 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 around 1 p.m. on Dec. 23, but Santa will remain until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve before beginning his busy night.

For more information and a list of participating retail stores and restaurants, visit GreenwichReindeerFestival.com.

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