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The Founding Team of Santa At the Swampwalk 2013

The Founders

Team Swampwalk 2012.  (l-r) David West, John Dick, Stacy Carpenter, Lauren Poussard.

It started on a whim.


In 2012, after alot of planning that many townspeople didn’t even know about, a team of volunteers, biologists, surveyors and carpenters completed a unique project on the Danvers Rail Trail – a beautiful boardwalk and observation platform duly named the Danvers-Wenham Swampwalk.


Living on the trail myself, and knowing many of the parties involved, I was an immediate fan and frequented it regularly.  On the eve of Thanksgiving 2012, my friend David West, who was part of the building crew, messaged me on Facebook.


Our conversation went something like this (these are very loose quotes…):


D: What do you think of doing photos with Santa at the Swampwalk? It’d be a fun way for people to find out about it.

Me:  Wow, yeah, that’d be awesome.

D: Yeah, it could be like, a fundraiser.

Me:  I love it.  So, like, when do you want to do this?

D: I dunno, what about this weekend?

Me: ………

Me: ………

Me, finally: Okaaaay, well… we need a Santa and you know, publicity so people find out about it….

D: Don’t worry I think I have a Santa.

Me:  Well, I do have a suit and boots and stuff…

D: I can get some volunteers to help with parking and stuff.

Me:  Ok, well, let’s do this.

The beautiful SwampWalk in October.

Fortunately I know a few people in the news – my friends at Patch and the Salem News posted about our event the day after Thanksgiving.


On Saturday we set up – and held our breath.  Would anyone come??


Sure enough, we started to see people making their way down the boardwalk to the observation platform.  I was dumbfounded – and overjoyed.


2021 will be our 9th in-person event and it is a sincere delight to see you year after year and see how your families have grown.  We have THE best Santa and we’ve even expanded to showcase our amazing MARINES.  Oorah!


It started on a whim, but my holiday season wouldn’t be complete without our crazy little event.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it such a heartwarming event – the PERFECT way to kick off the Christmas season.


THANK YOU for being a part of Santa at the Swampwalk, for your incredible generosity, and for helping us help local kids have a better Christmas!  Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. -Lauren

…And you came!!

I felt a little bit like Sally Field when she got her Oscar in 1984 (“You like me! You really like me!” – only for me it was like, “You came!  You really came!”)


Every year when I see the first people making their way down the swampwalk I feel exactly the same.  I am in complete astonishment that people would lug presents, babies, dogs, etc, down a dirt path for a quarter of a mile and stand out in the cold.


But that’s just how awesome you all are, and I love you for it!

About Our Santa

Best Santa Claus in New England


I think we can all agree, our Santa is literally the BEST Santa around!

He is such a treasure, and he literally came to me as if in answer to a prayer.  I can count on one hand how many times I have been approached randomly by a stranger who offered their assistance.  I can count on one finger how many times I  have been approached randomly by a stranger who offered their assistance – at the precise moment I needed it.  And that was the day I got a random e-mail from “Santa Alan”.


If you are a regular of Santa At The Swampwalk, then you will have met some of our Santas of the past.  I was a bit concerned for their safety, as you know, it is not a place for the mobility impaired.  I had been trying to think of who I could get who would be the perfect Santa and be a bit more agile – when I got a totally random e-mail from Santa Alan.


I was gobsmacked.  There really IS a Santa Claus!  And he read my mind!


I’m sure you will agree, he is AMAZING!  I think he actually IS Santa.  He makes the kids, makes all of us, truly feel special and the magic and spirit of Christmas.  We are so incredibly lucky he’s offered his time to be with us!  Best present eva’!!


If you are thinking of a Santa visit for your children, family, office, then be sure to go to Santa’s website https://nesantaclaus.com/

About Santa's Throne

The Throne

The throne travelled nearly as far as Santa did to be here.  It is an 18th Century Welsh Ambassador’s chair that I found in an antique shop in Twickenham when I lived in England.  It was sitting in this shop for years, and I had my eye on it.  I HAD to have it, but it was thousands of pounds.  After a few years, we were able to finagle a deal with the owner when buying an antique partner’s desk and finally, it had pride of place in my living room.  (I actually wanted to some day have a bathroom large enough for it to be a feature – you know, a throne in the throne?)


I wonder if the craftsmen who made this a couple of hundred of years ago could have EVER imagined it would be lugged every year through the woods, to a swamp, for a Toys for Tots fundraiser.  They’d be rolling in their graves if they knew. heh heh


The upholstery is contemporary, I think early 90’s.  I thought it was original, or alot older at least, as it has a distressed look to it.   I don’t know why I love it so much but I do, and it always makes me chuckle to watch a volunteer lug that thing down the trail.  It’s not terribly heavy, just awkward.


Lady Addison must be wondering why the chair that’s been in her living room the last 18 months has suddenly appeared in the middle of a swamp!  It’s magic!

Santa's Throne Santa At The Swampwalk