SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WDRB) -- Santa Claus, Ind., population roughly 2,500, is about an hour northwest of Louisville.

And this time of year, it's bursting at the seams as thousands of tourists converge on the tiny town ... all thanks to a fluke.

"Local legend is the towns' people were originally from a town called Santa Fe," said Melissa Brockman, executive director of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau.

But that name was already taken. So one night in the 1850s, while they were trying to name the settlement...

"A gust of wind opened the doors, and the children heard Jingle Bells, and they said 'Santa Claus!'" Brockman said.

And with that, the town, along with holiday tradition, was born.

It's the kind of place where visitors come from all over to stroll down Kringle Way and clamor for Christmas goodies from -- where else -- Santa's Christmas Store.

"Just driving up here today it was kind of an exciting feeling knowing I'm coming to Santa Claus," said Christine Muckle, who made the driver from St. Louis. "It just feels special."

Also on the list is a one-on-one with the jolly old elf himself. There's also Santa's Land of Lights, a mile-long Christmas light display. And just down the road is Santa's Candy Castle, where little ones can sink their teeth into homemade fudge, flavored popcorn and warm their tummies with cocoa. 

"When you walk into the Santa Claus Christmas Store and you smell the baking cookies and the roasted nuts, you hear Santa's 'ho ho ho' in the back of the store, you can't not feel like you're immersed in Christmas," Brockman said.

Santa Claus is also known for its postmark. Every season, postal workers process tens of thousands of children's letters for that famous postmark.

For a list of all the Christmas ideas in Santa Claus, click here.

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