You can’t have one without the other. Santa needs a sleigh and there’s no point having the sleigh, without the man in red to drive the bloody thing.
So, after constructing a mind-bogglingly impressive Santa sleigh, Gregg Turk, a grand father from Alabama in the US, decided it was time to go back to school and learn how to be the man in red.
Using a labour-intensive process called stack lamination, Turk spent more than 1600 hours building the sleigh out of the wood from a single Poplar tree.
He worked in his shop every day, then spent evenings planning and designing the sleigh on his computer.
The machine measures 4.3 metres long and 1.8 metres wide, with a back that is 2.1 metres tall, providing ample room to fit a bunch of wide-eyed kids during holiday parades.
The sleigh weighs more than 1100 kilograms, and is mounted on casters for ease of manoeuvrability.
Turk describes the project as the culmination of 35 years of woodworking and was the greatest challenge he has ever undertaken.
“I attempted to do so many things that I had never done before, and there’s no book to go to,” he said.
“There’s no place that you can go and get a set of drawings to build a sleigh.”
There’s a “time delay” switch to deliver all those presents and an “on-board computer” screen that flashes satellite images, as well as the names and locations of the lucky recipients on Santa’s “Great Kids List.”
But the fun really begins when Santa chooses one kid to press a large white button which activates a thrilling “launch” sequence.
Turk is a member of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas (FORBS) after he graduated as a Master Santa from The International University of Santa Claus.
Since then his passion for the big guy has captured the hearts and imagination of thousands of young people in Alabama and surrounding states.
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