The ambitiously named National Christmas Center is closing.
The tourist attraction located near Lancaster, Pennsylvania announced on its website that 2017 will be their final season and that their doors will permanently close on January 7th, 2018.
The National Christmas Center was opened 19 years ago and founded by Jim Morrison, a lifelong collector of Christmas memorabilia.
Morrison’s project started when, during a visit to the Christiana Mall in Newark, Del., the “Tudor Towne” exhibit caught his eye. Morrison says it was one of the last of the “over the top” department store Christmas displays. He acquired it and found the building in Paradise in 1988 to house it. The building became the National Christmas Center in 1998.
While not all-encompassing of Christmas culture in America the location did showcase 15 displays of Christmas, including several featuring efforts to inform about The Nativity.
It is believed financial issues is driving the closure. The site is listed for sale.
The National Christmas Center has long received media attention and the site has been popular with tourists in the Lancaster area. Online reviews have long mentioned the $12.50 entrance price as too steep.
Like many nostalgic Christmas attractions around the country it is hoped that an investor will step in the save the attraction and maybe expand it. That is what happened at Santa’s Village in Southern California which lay dormant for nearly 20 years before it was restored and re-opened.
An old-timey newsman with an eye for the ladies, Harold Starr brings decades of experience from southern North Dakota where he worked for years as the editor of the Herald Star in the city of Flasher, ND (we kid you not). He reports on Christmas Lifestyle, Culture and anything having to do with women, his proclaimed specialty.