MISHAWAKA -- Live reindeer, live music, a live Santa and then fireworks
will mark a new outdoor party -- Santa's Rockin' Arrival -- on Friday at
the University Park Mall.
It will usher in the shopping season as well as the first day of The
Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign. Bell ringers will be posted at
three sites in the mall, along with several other busy retail outlets
around St. Joseph County.
The mall will host the party, free to the public, from 3 to 8 p.m. in
front of its main entrance on Grape Road. Look for the big tent and
Performers will include "The X Factor" finalist Josh Kracjik and
country singer Mark Cooke, along with a life-sized puppet troop called
Those Funny Little People. Musicians will perform from The Salvation
Army's BandLINK program, with youths and their mentors from the
University of Notre Dame Marching Band.
Strolling musicians, costumed characters, jugglers, face painters, ice
sculptors, magicians and giveaways will be there, too, among the
holiday lights, food, drink and, yes, reindeer.
Santa will arrive close to sunset on a horsedrawn carriage, followed