Chamber planning Christmas at Crossroads, Santa Tour

Santa Claus is coming to town.

He’ll see you at Christmas at Crossroads. He’ll see you on the Santa Tour, too.

Those two events, presented by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, are coming up soon to get people in the Christmas spirit.

Christmas at Crossroads is from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Community Park, 101 E. Tipton St., Seymour.

Santa will arrive on a Seymour Fire Department firetruck around 6 p.m., and then he will help light the city’s Christmas tree before settling into Santa’s House to greet kids and hear their wish lists.

Also during the event, Christmas carols will be sung by members of The Tabernacle at Sandy Creek, Silly Safaris will have a reindeer and an elf and vendors will provide activities and giveaways.

A new addition to this year’s event is fireworks at 7 p.m. Pyrotecnico Inc., which provided the fireworks show at the Freeman Field Recreational Complex for the Fourth of July, will light up the downtown park. The Seymour Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring this show, too, and also was responsible for decorating the park for Christmas.

Chamber Director Dan Robison said Christmas fireworks was Parks Director Stacy Findley’s idea.

“Stacy mentioned it first, and we thought it was a fantastic idea,” Robison said. “We thought it would be a great addition to the Christmas at Crossroads event. It would just be another attraction for families to come enjoy that. We were happy to bring that as part of our event.”

Robison said The Tabernacle will have its main and Hispanic congregations come together to sing carols.

“Last year, we relaunched this as Christmas at Crossroads. The thing that we were pleasantly surprised about was how that event drew folks from our Latino community in Seymour,” he said. “I estimated at least 40% of the crowd was from the Latino community, which we thought that’s awesome, so we built on that this year.”

The chamber will again have Southern Indiana Hispanic Services as one of the vendors, and the organization will have activities and sell baked goods. Plus, a local group will be doing traditional Latino folk dancing.

“We wanted to build more of that cultural type aspect into the event because Christmas is a great time for people to celebrate their different traditions and cultures,” Robison said. “It just kind of happened natural that way, so we’ve chosen to build on it. … That’s what we want this event to be about.”

Schwätzer’s German Restaurant will be there with snacks, too, and Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 will serve free cookies donated by Walmart Supercenter in Seymour, hot cocoa and candy canes.

Plus, Unlocking the Spectrum will offer sensory activities for kids, and Uptown Realty Partners will offer face painting.

“We’re excited about it,” Robison said.

This is the third year for the Santa Tour. It will start at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 through 9 and will be in your neighborhood on the night of your trash and recycling pickup day.

Santa will ride on a Seymour firetruck tossing candy canes and waving at kids and adults.

One change this year is the tour will start each night at Station 1 on East Street.

“Some people out in the county, they come and stand out in front of the fire station and see him leave,” Robison said.

Another option for those living outside city limits is to park in the Seymour High School parking lot along Community Drive around 6 p.m. Dec. 8, as the Santa Tour will drive by there.

Again this year, the Seymour Police Department will have a GPS tracker on a vehicle leading the tour so people will know where it is. That link will be shared on the chamber’s Facebook page,

If any of the nights of the tour have to be canceled due to the weather, they will be made up Dec. 10.

Robison said the chamber started the Santa Tour during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and it became an instant hit.

“What we get out of it is what we see the community getting out of it,” he said. “It’s really no gain to us or our organization other than just the satisfaction knowing that we’ve done something that our community enjoys and embraces. We had a feeling after that first year in 2020 that we had started a new tradition, and it seems like that’s the case because we have people ask us about it year-round.”

Seeing the reactions of kids and adults alike is priceless.

“I think the pandemic kind of retaught people to enjoy home. This is a way that people can enjoy something as a community but from home, too,” Robison said. “We just love it. Everybody seems to love it and embrace it. It’s just a good community spirit thing.”

The first responders participating in the Santa Tour enjoy it, too.

“I know Chief (Brad) Lucas has already told me that the firefighters are excited,” Robison said. “They’ve asked about what the schedule is going to look like for this year and when they can sign up, so there’s always anticipation with our public safety folks to jump in there and help, too.”