Santa and Mrs. Klaus return to East Troy

Santa arrives at the East Troy Railroad Depot last year on the Santa Parade Train. Each year, Santa and Mrs. Claus board the train at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago and ride the rails to East Troy for the annual Santa on the Square celebration downtown. (Eric Kramer photo)

Santa Parade Train rides the rails Saturday

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Railroad’s Santa Parade Train makes its annual journey from Mukwonago into downtown East Troy on Saturday for an evening on holiday festivities on the Village Square.

“We are so excited to kick off the holiday season with this family-friendly event. This has been a local holiday tradition for decades and is something people look forward to year after year,” East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vanessa Lenz said. “This year, we are happy to expand on this East Troy tradition and offer additional holiday activities outdoors at East Troy Village Square Park and inside Ivan’s Backstage.”

Presented by the East Troy Railroad in conjunction with the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce and Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Center, the holiday-lit four-car train travels down the century-old interurban trolley line between Mukwonago and East Troy.

“The train is quite impressive. The four cars are covered in lights and festive decorations. It’s a perfect representation of the season,” Lenz said. “I love seeing the kids’ faces when they see Santa riding outside on the train’s flatcar.”

Santa and Mrs. Klaus greet the families gathered on the East Troy Village Square during last year’s Santa on the Square. The Klauses ride from the East Troy Train Depot to the square on a fire truck, greet the crowd and the light the Bob Barutha Memorial Christmas Tree. (Eric Kramer photo)

Upon arrival at the East Troy Railroad Depot, Santa and Mrs. Clause travel to the East Troy Village Square via fire truck for the lighting of the Bob Barutha Memorial Christmas Tree and Santa on the Square celebration.

See the Santa Parade Train

Spectators can catch a glimpse of Santa along Highway ES. The train will stop briefly at the following crossings:

  • 5:30 p.m., train departs at The Elegant Farmer
  • 5:45 p.m., Army Lake Road – Army Lake Camp
  • 6 p.m., St. Peter’s Road
  • 6:15 p.m., Byrnes Street
  • 6:25 p.m., Division Street
  • 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives at East Troy Village Square Park via East Troy Fire Department truck to light the Bob Barutha Memorial Christmas Tree.

Santa on the Square

In anticipation of Santa’s arrival, festivities will begin at East Troy Village Square Park at 5:30 p.m., including a tree lighting, winter activities, Holiday Marketplace, photos with Santa and more.

Activities at East Troy Village Square Park include:

  • Cookie decorating, s’mores station, DIY photo station and mulled wine;
  • Christmas carol sing-along led by East Troy High School Choir members;
  • Professional photos of children with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available following the tree lighting at about 6:40 p.m. at a cost of $8 each, with the proceeds to benefit the East Troy Food Pantry. Photos sponsored by 2894 On Main and all participants will get a digital copy of their photo: and
  • Cub Scout Pack 92 will sell chili, chili dogs, baked goods and more.

Professional photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available following the tree lighting after 6:30 p.m.        The cost is $8 with proceeds to benefit the East Troy Food Pantry.

Avoid the wait in line this year. Check in at the photo area where chamber volunteers take your name and give you a number with an approximate wait time.

Enjoy the seasonal activities until your number appears on one of numerous status boards, indicating it’s your turn for photos.

The East Troy Holiday Marketplace inside Ivan’s Backstage will feature vendors offering a variety of holiday gift items, kids crafts, face painting, games and live music by Evan Lane.

The East Troy Lioness Club will have walking tacos, hot dogs and hot cocoa for sale in the warmth of the Lions Lodge beginning at 5 p.m.

The East Troy Area Historical Society will offer refreshments and tours from 5 to 8 p.m.

2894 On Main will have sugar cookie decorating for kids of all ages.

For more information or Santa Train tickets, go to

Midnight Magic in Mukwonago

Mukwonago’s annual Midnight Magic holiday celebration will from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday.

The town-wide, old-fashioned Christmas celebration includes a parade, fireworks, photos with Santa, holiday entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, indoor crafter market, shopping and more.

The parade steps off at 3 p.m. at Mukwonago High School and travels to the Mukwonago Community Library for the tree lighting.

Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

For more information, visit


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