A little rain hardly mattered to the hundreds of families that filled the Durham Armory on Saturday for the city’s fifth annual Holiday Fun Fest.
Helping out as Santa’s elves for the second year, twin sisters Lané and Zané Young, 18-year-old Hillside High seniors, grabbed a selfie with “Santa Larry” on one of their breaks from steering tots to St. Nick’s chair.
“Every parent wants a picture of their child (with Santa),” Lane explained, “even if they’re crying.”
But there were no tears as tykes grabbed lap time with the old man, then hopped off to hammer birdhouses with Wool E. Bull or get their faces painted.
Frankie Jones, 4, waited for his balloon animal at the Karate International table with a detailed black spider on his left cheek.
The pre-schooler is a big Spiderman fan and likes “the way he webs.”
Rain moved the festival indoors from Rock Quarry Park.
So while the sledding was out, the show went on with the Hillside High School Dance Team, Life International Children’s Choir, Nina School of Dance, The Merrick Moore Step Team, and the Marching Eagle Regiment Band all scheduled to perform.
The afternoon also featured a performance by local jazz artist Dwayne Jordan, and of course visits with Santa.
Santa Larry, glitter sparkling on his cotton candy-soft beard, belongs to the Triangle Santa Buddies, International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas and the Long Leaf Pine Santas.
He leaned in close and cocked his ear as children whispered their wishes and said later he was donating part of the day’s fee to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Raleigh.
“Mrs. Claus has had MS for 24 years,” he said, as the next children waited in line.
“That’s why I do this.”