An interview with Santa

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

STANDISH — Santa Claus traveled via Sebago Lake to appear at a tree lighting event at Saint Joseph’s College, where he granted an interview to The Bridgton News — after all the children had told Mr. Claus what gifts they wanted for Christmas.

Q: What is it like to fly with your reindeer over Sebago Lake? Do they ever follow the Songo River?

A: When we come into Maine, Sebago Lake is one of the biggest landmarks we use. It is 55 square miles so we can see it from a long way away. Once we have delivered around the lake area we head up toward Long Lake, using the Songo River as our guide.

Q: Southern Maine had the warmest temperature on record for the month of November, and this region does not have any snow on the ground. How is the North Pole faring?

A: The North Pole is holding up well, it is very rare if there is not snow all year round. Plus with modern technology we now have a great snow-making system. Ho Ho!!

Q: I heard you support communities buying locally — not just food, but gifts and goods. What are the primary reasons you support the buy local concept?

A: Well — It is important that communities stay as self-sufficient as possible. My grandfather tells me that they never purchased any food from out of state all year long. This provided better quality food, more local jobs and a community spirit

Q: What are the advantages to eating locally?

A: Because eating locally:

  • Tastes Better
  • Encourages Biodiversity
  • More Nutritious
  • Supports Local Farms and Families
  • Preserves Open Spaces
  • Supports Local Economy
  • Protects the environment and helps wildlife

Q: What kinds of local ingredients could people buy fairly easily to make holiday recipes?

A: This time of year it is possible to get many local ingredients to compliment the holiday season. Potatoes are available for traditional mashed potatoes; pumpkins are available to make delicious pie. You can also get root vegetables for lots of dishes including adding them to your favorite desserts. Just Google it!! You will also find plenty of Maine-made jams, hot sauces, preserves, pickled vegetables, just to name a few. Also in abundance is good old Smiling Hill Farm Milk processed in Westbrook!! Still using the traditional glass bottle from seven generations ago!!

Q: What are your favorite restaurants in the Bridgton, Naples and Casco area? Name several and why – menu items, atmosphere, staff, or view.

A: Well – I enjoy wings at Bray’s Brew Pub, nice casual atmosphere and plenty of friendly staff. Little partial to the home brew ales myself.  The Black Bear would be a favorite for a good Irish Breakfast or a Pizza for dinner. When I take Mrs. Claus out I head up to Bridgton where I enjoy the Black Horse Tavern, A little more formal and she enjoys a nice glass of sherry. Has a nice Christmas atmosphere and cheerful staff

Q: Do you have any suggestions for where people can find locally-made Maine gifts for Christmas giving?

A: You can find plenty of great local gifts at Blacksmiths Winery in Casco, Good Life Market in Raymond, Renys in Bridgton.

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