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
by a tree-lighting ceremony, music and fireworks.
The Army's campaign
The Salvation Army in St. Joseph County says that it aims to raise
$125,000 through its Red Kettle campaign, which is more than a third
of the overall goal of $340,000 for its holiday campaign. Money raised
will be used to provide food and financial assistance to needy
households for utilities, mortgage and rent.
The campaign's honorary chairman is a neighbor, Andrew Berlin, who's
owner of the South Bend Silver Hawks, who play in the Coveleski
Stadium just down Western Avenue from the Salvation Army's new Kroc
To learn how you can volunteer for or donate to the Red Kettle
campaign, drop by the Kroc Center at 900 Western Ave., South Bend;
call 574-233-9471; or visit www.mykroc.org.