Updated: Nov 29, 2021
The Yankee Candle Factory store in Williamsburg, Virginia closed in April 2021. When it closed, one of Williamsburg's favorite traditions was at risk of disappearing. Thousands of families flocked to Yankee Candle every year to have their children's photos taken with "Yankee Candle Santa".
Over the years, Jim Hines has become a local legend as Santa. His natural ability to put children at ease and share their wish lists with a smile is second to none.
This year the new non profit association, Williamsburg Downtown, helped bring life to a new Santa photo tradition downtown. Ben Munson, broker/owner of the Memorie Group real estate boutique office at 439 Prince George Street has offered his office to serve as Santa's workshop for the duration of the holiday season. "When Yankee Candle closed, my first thought was there goes my kid's favorite Santa." Ben Munson explained. "I saw an opportunity to pivot this wonderful tradition to be a fundraising event that drew folks downtown."
Williamsburg Downtown has selected with Heritage Humane Society, Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, Williamsburg House of Mercy, and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra to receive distributions from event proceeds. This first year is the foundation for our vision of an annual community fundraiser that engages thousands of locals and visitors.
Photo sessions are $50 per family and all proceeds go to local non-profits. The big improvement this year is that sessions are booked in advance so there are no long lines to wait in any more. You can book your sessions at WilliamsburgDowntown.com for dates though December 23rd. You can find the Memorie Group at Memorie.com.