Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
10:17 am EST
Friday, January 28, 2022

Seeing Is Believing

Santa Claus will make an appearance at Lake Square Mall and at other events throughout the county.


Anyone who complains about a busy workday should try walking a mile in Santa’s boots. 

He’s at the North Pole packing gifts for well-behaved boys and girls. He’s in front of retail stores ringing bells for the Salvation Army. He’s piloting a sleigh pulled by reindeer. 

Fortunately, he’ll be able to squeeze in enough time to make an appearance at Lake Square Mall, listening intently as children share their carefully crafted wish lists. Some children may cry, and a few will undoubtedly sneak a tug at his beard. 

But he won’t mind. After all, that big man who wears a red suit and sports a fluffy white beard is a jolly guy. 

“The mall is undergoing a major transformation, so we’re excited to bring the spirit of the season here,” says Anna Marie Chwastiak, marketing director at Lake Square Mall. “The Christmas holiday isn’t just about shopping; it’s about coming here and enjoying a wonderful experience while making Christmas memories.”

“We’re definitely bringing Christmas alive this year at Lake Square Mall,” Anna Marie says. “We are excited to have Santa here and look forward to the public participating in some of the events we’ve centered around his visit.”

Santa’s Lake Square Mall events:

Dec. 6: He sees you when you’re sleeping, so there’s no shame in participating in Pajamas Day and donning your favorite pajamas right before Santa’s eyes. 

Dec. 8 and 12: Thanks to a partnership with Home Depot, 120 children will receive materials to make wooden toys that they can keep for themselves or give to needy children. The toy-building activity will be held from 10am-noon Dec. 8 and from 6-8pm Dec. 12. 

Dec. 11: The big man’s lap isn’t restricted to children. Dogs and cats are also welcome. On Pet Night, which lasts from 4-8pm, families can bring their furry friend or friends to the mall and take a picture with Santa holding their pet. 

Dec. 13: Shun that corporate attire for a day and don something hideous on Wear Your Ugly Sweater Day. If you’re in need of new clothes, this may be a great way to score sympathy points with Santa. 

Dec. 15: From 10-11:30am, Cheryl Bloom, owner of Bloom’s Baking House and Restaurant in downtown Leesburg, will dress as Mrs. Claus and set up a makeshift bakery inside the mall. Children will receive cookies and milk. 

Dec. 15: An auction will be held on Christmas trees that were artistically decorated by local schoolchildren. Proceeds will benefit the Educational Foundation of Lake County. 


Despite his demanding schedule, Santa will find time to appear in other Lake County towns throughout the month:

Hometown Christmas: During this event, scheduled for Dec. 7 in Fruitland Park, Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a grand appearance aboard a firetruck. 

27th annual Christmas Parade: Held Dec. 8 in Groveland, this event allows children to attend Santa’s Workshop inside the Lake David Center and have their photograph taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

Howey Christmas Festival: Enjoy a Christmas parade and have your picture taken alongside Santa. The event will be held Dec. 15.