A U.S. school dedicated to preparing people to portray Santa Claus has been dubbed the world’s longest-running Santa school by Guinness World Records.
The Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, founded in October 1937 in Albion, N.Y., before moving to a larger location in Midland, Mich., has been operating continuously for 84 years, Guinness World Records said.
The school covers topics including how to properly dress as Santa, how to sing and dance to Christmas music, how to make toys in a workshop and how to ride a sleigh.
The school was founded by Charles W. Howard, a farmer and toy maker whose St. Nick credentials included playing Santa at various department stores and in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Charlie believed to portray the image of Santa is a privilege, not a job. He built the school so that there will be better Santas for the kids and families. Santa stands for love and giving, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is,” Tom Valent, the school’s dean, told Guinness.
Valent said the world’s longest-running Santa school also is the best.
“We teach the heart of Santa, and that’s what stands us apart from all the other schools that have started after the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School,” he said.