KNOWLEDGE

Castle Ready For Christmas Revelers



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Drive through hundreds of puffy, lit-up Santas, reindeer, polar bears and snow people during Castle Christmas.


If that doesn't suit your fancy, take a train or hayride to see it all.


The Castle of Muskogee offers a choice when it opens its holiday displays at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. The displays will be open for a free drive-through each night through New Year's Day. 


People also can take a train or a hayride through the displays for a small fee.


Castle operations manager Sarah Gile said at least 100 inflatables and lighting displays have been added to the routes.


"We picked up an extra stock of things from a business in Texas last year, inflatables, lighting displays," Gile said. "So there will be a new feature around every corner this year."

She said people have been working on the displays since Halloween.

Giles said adults and children can ride the covered train, which plays music during the ride.

"The castle train is probably the best way to get a show of the lights," Giles said. "There's nobody behind you with their headlights."

Castle owner Jeff Hiller said the train and hayride "go in a whole different loop that the cars do not see."

"Best thing to do is to do the drive through, then when you get through doing that, just park in front of the Castle and come on inside and see the shops inside," Hiller said. 

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Hiller said inside attractions are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. After Dec. 15, inside attractions will be open every day. 

"Since a lot of our artisans come from quite a ways away, it's just not busy enough for them to be here every day to show off their stuff," Hiller said. 

"People support the Castle like crazy during Renaissance Faire, Halloween and the fireworks. It's kind of our present to the community. People can give donations if they want to. Basically, it's just a thank you to."

Hiller said to expect a bunch of new things inside, including 13 artisans making handmade items.

"We'll have new inflatables people can buy if they want to." he said. "There also are 40 kinds of trees available at a discount, and a ton of projection lights."

Giles listed other attractions.

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"We'll have Santa's Workshop, where kids will make ornaments, the wax hands. Father Christmas will be here," Gile said.

Father Christmas? 

That's the English variation of Santa Claus, in keeping with the Castle's European Renaissance vibe.

"And we always show holiday movies in the Chalice Hall," Gile said.

Outside, people can take pony rides or camel rides.