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Don’t Miss CRRC’s North Pole Village

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by CRRC Staff

Santa’s back at North Pole Village at the CRRC’s Recreation Center, 125 Mabel Jones Dr., Canyon Lake.

CRRC Executive Director Darin Zumwalt dons a big top hat and suit coat as acting mayor of North Pole Village.

Now in its 21st year, North Pole Village has become more than a place to take your kids.

This annual community event is sponsored by the Community Resource & Recreation Center of Canyon Lake (CRRC) and opens again this week, Dec. 14, 15, 16 —  from 6 to 9 p.m.

“It’s a place where grandparents are now bringing their kids. It’s a place where kids who enjoyed the village when they were young are now bringing their own children,” says CRRC Executive Director Darin Zumwalt, who dons a big top hat and suit coat as acting mayor of North Pole Village. “It’s the CRRC’s gift to the community, in appreciation of all the support throughout the year.”

CRRC  is a non-profit organization offering recreational and social services to Canyon Lake residents. Proceeds from North Pole Village support CRRC’s food pantry and crisis programs.

Magical Setting

North Pole Village’s magical setting is a great place to take family pictures or pictures with Santa (or both!), and the Country Store will be open for shopping,  Zumwalt says.

“People come from as far away as Kyle and San Antonio for the North Pole Village. And we’ve got some surprises for the 20th anniversary that will make the trip worthwhile for all families,” Zumwalt says.

Admission is $5 for children older than 18 months and $5 for adults. Fee covers all activities except for food, photos with Santa and shopping in the general store.  Photos with Santa are $5 and can include as many people that can squeeze around his chair.

Christmas fun

North Pole Villages features:

  • Deep Freeze Cafe sponsored by Brookshire Bros.
  • Country Store
  • Post office for writing letters to Santa
  • Toyland for adopting toys
  • Firehouse for checking new toys and learning about fire safety
  • Pet Barn with four-legged household members
  • Library for checking out new books
  • Frosty’s Ice Fishing with candy surprises
  • Schoolhouse to make Christmas ornaments
  • Elves House featuring face painting
  • Bakery to frost Christmas cookies
  • Live nativity scene

Thanking Canyon Lake

CRRC presents the village as a thank you to the community for its support throughout the year.

“Whether it’s food for the pantry, volunteering as a ref for Spurs basketball at the Rec or giving items to our thrift store, we appreciate how our community opens its heart to our organization,” Zumwalt says.

And even though the village is a thank you, it still requires a lot of giving. Zumwalt said it takes more than 60 volunteers to run the village for three hours. And the community doesn’t fail to come through.

“Some of our volunteers work every night. Others have to crawl into a small space for the ice fishing and tie things on the line,” he said. “But they don’t complain.”

Sometimes kids from high school service clubs come and spend an evening working booths they used to frequent when they were in elementary school.


The North Pole Village was born out of the need to raise funds to build the Rec Center. The brainchild of Trish Wyatt in 1991, community members joined in to build a safe place for kids to participate in activities. Ricky Henderson had the Village idea.

In 2003, the Rec Center joined with the Canyon Lake Action Center to become CRRC, which took over the event. In 2005, Sue Schubring joined CRRC and added buildings and activities to the Village.

Many businesses and organizations have helped rebuild some of the older buildings. Others sponsor activities.

Race to the Pantry!

The second annual Race to the Pantry 5 & 10K, benefiting CRRC, kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the recreation center. Included in the event are a one-mile walk and a “Kids K.” Online registration is available at athleteguild.com. Search “pantry.” Online registration deadline is midnight, Dec. 14. Costs $10 to $30 day-of.

All entries in 5K and 10K qualify for a drawing for 25,000 Southwest Airlines miles, a $400 value.

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