BWG Santa Clause Parade is a Christmas market that has been running for 25 years.
The Christmas market started with the Glendon family who has had a Christmas tree farm in their family for over three generations. The family loved that farm, but they wanted a way to help people celebrate Christmas all year long. They decided the best way to do that, while still operating the tree farm, was to open a market. The problem, though, was where. The farm wasn’t near any towns or major highways. They wanted to have it in a place that was easy for people to get to, but where they could also sell their trees.
One summer, the Glendon family was driving across the country for a big road trip and they stopped at a big truck stop in the middle of the country. The place had everything – restaurants, gas stations, shops – even showers, if you needed it! There were tons of people there, and they thought that that might be a great place for the store. It also wasn’t too far from a major city so there were plenty of suburbs around for them to establish community roots.
The only problem was they wanted to be able to sell their trees as well. Ben W. Glendon, the main owner of the farm at the time, knew that the farm was hundreds of miles away from the market, but realized that could be a good selling point. If they could find a way to transport the trees down to the market, people might be really excited to have a special tree from the northern part of the country. He happened to have a friend in the trucking business who could help him set up transportation for the trees, so they decided to give it a go. They bought space next to the truck stop, invited the communities nearby to be part of the grand opening, and that Christmas, brought their northeast trees down to the middle of the country.
The store was, and is, a huge success. Each year, visitors from across the entire country come visit our little store. We’ve even had many international visitors. While we have moved buildings since that first store (we are now more located in the community, but still closer to the major highways), we still have the same intentions—to bring holiday joy all year long. And, each holiday season, the Glendon family brings down their trees, allowing people everywhere to get that perfect tree. It’s our yearly tradition, and we hope you will be a part of it this year!