by Reneé Mizar
Communications Coordinator, Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley
In his 13-plus years portraying Santa Claus, Larry Klinefelter of Sequim estimates he’s bestowed Christmas cheer on some 3,000 people ranging from a newborn just two hours old to a 97-year-old woman, along with a fair number of pets.
Clad in full Kris Kringle regalia down to his vintage eyeglasses and authentic Santa-esque beard that was 10 months in the making, Klinefelter’s seasonal alter ego will make a first-ever appearance at the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley (MAC)’s annual Christmas Tea & Bake Sale this weekend.
The event, presented by the MAC’s Dungeness Schoolhouse Volunteer Committee, is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8, at the historical Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road in Sequim. Admission is free with donations appreciated.
Klinefelter and wife Linda as Mrs. Claus will appear for complimentary photographs taken by MAC photographer-in-residence Angelina Reese during the tea on Sunday only. People of all ages and pets alike are welcome to have their photos taken.
“I enjoy the kids. I have so much fun with them,” said Klinefelter, a Marine Corps veteran who volunteers year-round for numerous programs assisting veterans. “I’ll say, ‘Wait a minute now, why did you get mad at your dad?’ or ‘Why did you get mad at your teacher?’ I make them think, like, ‘Oh my God, he knows about this?!’”
A holiday tradition since the late 1960s, the two-day Christmas Tea & Bake Sale takes place in the specially decorated schoolhouse auditorium where cookies, hot tea and coffee will be served and homemade baked goods for sale as a fundraiser. The schoolhouse’s historical classroom exhibit also will be open for viewing throughout the event.
In addition, nearly a dozen local authors will participate in a book signing on Saturday only in the schoolhouse’s downstairs classroom and their books will be available for purchase. Authors scheduled to appear include Alice Alexander, Karolyn Hamerquist Burdick, Ross Hamilton, Doug McInnes, Glynda Schaad, Teresa Schoefell-Lingvall, Judy Stipe, Dave Woodcock and Irene Wyman. The recently-released
Sequim Centennial Cookbook “Blackberries, Dandelions & Dungeness Crab” also will be for sale.
The Christmas Tea & Bake Sale is an annual fundraiser for the Dungeness Schoolhouse. Donations and bake sale proceeds help in the ongoing maintenance and preservation of the 1892-built historical landmark, which has been owned and operated by the MAC since 1995.
Visit www.macsequim.org or call 683-8110 for details.