The other night, my sister and I were reminiscing about all the times (any number of them, as a matter of fact) that Dad would come up with something for us to hit the road and go see.

In 1974, the Old Courthouse in downtown Evansville began hosting The Enchanted World of Christmas. I was eight years old and walking into all of those Christmas wonderlands gave me the same feeling I'd get when I'd get off the monorail at Disney World and walk into the Magic Kingdom.

It would all begin outside with a giant Santa Claus on top of the courthouse. I also remember a King Kong that was placed on the side of the building. No, I have no idea what King Kong has to do with Christmas, but I guess they had a big King Kong statue and decided to use it. Why not?

By the way, that giant Santa stood, for years, outside of Busler's Truck Stop in Evansville, long after The Enchanted World of Christmas finished its run in 1978. But when the truck stop was demolished, big Santa fell into disrepair. Here it is, restored, at its present location at 11812 US Hwy 41:

Google Street View
Google Street View

Inside the courthouse--a magnificent structure in and of itself, when it's NOT decorated for anything--there were several Christmas-themed sections like Mrs. Claus' Kitchen, the Hall of Santas, Santa's Workshop, Christmas Trees of the World, the North Pole, and Rudolph's Stable, complete with a live Rudolph for petting.

I know my dad took tons of pictures because that's just what he did, but I can't find any of them to save my life. More than likely, they're buried deep in one of a myriad of old Kodak slide carousels and I'd never find them.

Anyway, if I had them I would absolutely share them. In the meantime, if you DO remember The Enchanted World of Christmas and would like to take a stroll down memory lane, the Evansville Public Library has archived articles about it and I appreciate Kate at EVPL East for helping me with those stories.

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SEE: 30 Toys That Defined the '70s

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