A new location for the Verona Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual live reindeer event did not deter excitement by hundreds of attendees, nor did temperatures in the low 20s.

This was the first year the event was held at Badger Ridge Middle School instead of at the library. The chamber opted for the move in order to provide more parking, in addition to the waiting line being able to be mostly inside.

The reindeer are raised and cared for by Reindeer Games, a farm in Erin.

Ben Hofmeister, a Reindeer Games employee, gave some children graham crackers to feed the reindeer, which led to them begging for more by scraping the gates with their hooves.

Inside the BRMS cafeteria, librarians led crafts for kids while Santa and Mrs. Claus, portrayed by Steve Heuer and Mona Cassis, wandered around offering hugs and photos with children.

Neal Patten can be contacted at