Thursday, August 3, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for August 3

Santa Claus Land opened on August 3, 1946.

Santa Claus Land Opens

In 1941, retired Louis J. Koch visited the town of Santa Claus in Indiana. Being a father of nine children, he found it sad that some children would visit the town to find that Santa was not there and that fueled his desire to create a park where kids could see Santa any time of the year. Due to World War II, construction of Santa Claus Land didn’t begin until August 1945. The park opened on this day in 1946 with free admission, a toy shop, toy displays, a restaurant, a few rides and of course the jolly old elf himself. Later, a deer farm was added. In 1955, a new section, Pleasureland (now known as Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch) was added. As the park grew, the focus of the park grew as well focusing on families rather than just children. By 1984, the park added a Halloween and a Fourth of July section to the park and changed its name to Holiday World. In 1993, the Koch family added the Splashin’ Safari Water Park. In 2006, during the park’s 60th anniversary, Holiday World added a Thanksgiving section.

The Macarena dance craze began in August 1996

The “Macarena” Song and Dance Craze was Born

The original Los Del Rio recording of "Macarena" was a hit in Latin America but would not have gained much attention in North America if it weren’t for John Caride, a DJ at a Miami radio station who asked the station manager if they could add the song to their play list. He was told no as the station did not play songs sung exclusively in Spanish. With the help of producers Carols De Yarza and Mike Triay, the song was recorded with English-language verses and remixed to make it more dance “club-friendly.” The new version, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" was soon played at wedding receptions everywhere. The song became a #1 hit on this day in 1996 and stayed in the Billboard Hot 100 for 60 weeks.