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Museum to host photo opp with distant Santa

| December 10, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Families can support the Museum of North Idaho and visit Santa — from a distance — at the Fort Sherman Chapel, 332 W. Hubbard St., from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19.

It's the first holiday fundraiser in the museum's 50-year history.

The initial idea was to host a vintage Christmas at the White House, the museum's future home, but that remains under renovation at McEuen Park.

"There was also the question of how to hold a public event that kept our staff, volunteers, and Santa safe," wrote museum Development Director Jocelyn Whitfield-Babcock. "Considering Stage 2, we had to ensure there were not more than 10 people in the sanctuary."

MNI held the first "Socially Distant Santa Selfie" last Saturday at Fort Sherman Chapel. It included music, cookies, drinks and decorations.

At the next Santa Selfie on Dec.19, masks are requested and donations are welcome.

One of Santa’s helpers will provide parents with a form to collect information Santa should know about each child. That creates a personalized experience, since the children cannot sit on Santa’s lap.

Families enter one at a time. Children stand 6 feet from Santa and receive a personal message from him and have a photo opportunity with Santa in the background.

"Families exit out the back, so at no time do people pass each other in line," a press release said.

Proceeds support museum operations at its current home, 115 Northwest Blvd., and the new building at Eighth and Young.

The MNI is closed from November to March.