He stood there for years with that big smile and his hand up in the sky waving as though everyday was Christmas. For him it was.
The Santa who once called Highway 41 north of Evansville home is now in the operating room you could say needing a new lease on life.
Old fiber glass and the paint peeled off, insulation gutted out.
Now old Saint Nick is ready to be fixed.
The Santa that spent years waving to everyone passing by had to take a break.
Now the jolly ol’ elf is getting a makeover. But it is a huge challenge.
Deep inside this almost 40 foot tall Saint Nick.
Local artist and sculptor, Bob Zasadny and his helpers are inside a West side warehouse five days a week..
“The most obvious thing that we saw back in January was just the split in the side of him, that was about that wide and about 6 feet long and that seemed like a simple fix,” said Zasadny.
But when Santa was examined they found out that simple fix wasn’t so simple.
“And then we got it over here and started really looking at it in detail then we saw the major extent of the damage. It’s going to be a pretty major job that has to be done quickly and properly,” said Zasadny.
To add to it there’s the summer heat having an impact on this giant from the top of the world.
It’s been difficult to work with the materials needed for Santa’s interior.
“I wish Santa was back at the north pole,” said Zasadny.
Once Santa’s insides are fixed, the work begins on the big guy’s suit.
This brings back memories of that symbol that once stood along U.S. 41.
“I can’t tell you how many people have told me they remember going past this thing when they were kids,” said Zasadny.
When Santa is looking like brand new he will take his stand on U.S. Highway 41 just south of the 4-H fairgrounds.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him waving to all the kids and everyone else that goes by,” said Zasadny.