Cleveland Has One of the USA's Best Santas

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In a story published this week on TIME.com, the esteemed inventor-cum-youth-collaborator Kris Kringle at Tower City's Kringle's Inventionasium was named one of the nation's 11 best Santas.

"Wearing a red-and-white-striped shirt and green overalls, he sits behind a desk or on a stool instead of a cushiony throne and tells youngsters about his latest invention ideas and invites them to suggest improvements," writes Olivia Waxman, for TIME.

Kringle's Inventionasium, writ larger, is a twist on the traditional "photo-op with Santa" premise and one that feels unique to Northeast Ohio. Here, Santa Claus is not the benevolent seasonal deity, arbiter of behavior and occasional bestower of charcoal. He's Kris — an inventor, a goofy scientist, a guy in the grandfatherly bearded mold of Santas nationwide, but one with the lovable oddball-whimsy of your standard attic chemist.

Housed in Tower City, the Inventionasium is a 35-minute tour which encourages youngsters to interact and get creative in a laboratory of almost Seussian color and concept. Kringle himself is the final stop.

Though it's great fun for the kiddies, the experience also represents a theatrical marriage of some of Cleveland's halmarks: a vibrant arts scene, a cresting innovation economy, a fiendish obsession with the holiday season's finer kitsch.

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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