Welcome to ClausFest
         March 15-19, 2014
     Coming Back Home to Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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Our Workshop Schedule and Descriptions are NOW available on our ClausFest Facebook Page.  Please visit us there to download and print.  You will also be getting one in your registration folder once you arrive at Gatlinburg, TN.   You do not need to sign up for any specific class, just go on in to the ones you wish to !




Santa Lou Knezevich and his lovely wife, Loretta are Co-chairpersons for the Workshops in 2014 and are working hard to book the best of the best Workshops available all across the fruited plain to come to Gatlinburg and give us the benefit of their expertise.  Some will be returning by popular demand and we will also be offering New Workshop topics for 2014 to further enhance ones ability to be the very best Santas they possibly can for their clients.  

If you feel you have something to teach us and believe you will meet the qualifications of an Instructor, please contact either Lou or Loretta through their e-mail addresses at 

l[email protected]  

         [email protected]









UPDATE:  March 8, 2014

We are thrilled to tell you that Susen Mesco with the Denver Colorado School for Santas will be a Workshop Presenter at ClausFest 2014 and,

in fact, will be hosting 2 classes on the 3 Dimensional Santa.  Susen comes to us with over 30 years experience in the Claus Family in varying capacities throughout her amazing career.  She is hailed as one of the "best" in the West!  We certainly are looking forward to her addition to our Workshop lineup.  Let me mention that she has been on the roster, but because of some glitches in the website, we could not get her on  it until now.   Our sincerest apologies to Susen!

This Workshop is sure to be one of the best and a preview of just what Susens school out in Denver is about.  Please join us in welcoming her to

ClausFest and lets be sure to make her and her companions feel right at home at ClausFest 2014!


                               WORKSHOP UPDATE JANUARY 10, 2014

We are so excited to tell you about a New Workshop that we are

going to have at ClausFest 2014!  This Workshop is going to be presented by none other than our good friends from Denmark, Jorgen Otzen and Henrik Jacobsen!   Jorgen and Henrik are going to tell us about customs and Clausing in other Countries.  What a wonderful International flavor to add to our ever evolving Education opportunities!  This is most assuredly a Workshop that should not be missed!  

Here's what Jorgen had to say in his own words about  he and Henrik's workshop -

" The Danes have many old traditions in connection with Christmas. Santa Jørgen and Santa Henrik will tell a lot of these traditions. How are the Danes celebrating Christmas? What do we get to eat? How are the traditions during the month December in Denmark. What does Santa do in Denmark? How is the network between the Santa’s in Denmark? We teach the participants how to make a Christmas heart of paper, which we use as part of the decoration on the Christmas tree, and many other things."

We hope you will give Jorgen and Henrik a great big Welcome  at this Workshop!


                                                 September 20, 2013

We know that many of you attend National/International Conventions in order to attend the Workshops that are offered, in order to learn and improve your portrayal of the Greatest Icon in the World!  Thus, we know you've been anxiously awaiting word about what type of Workshops will be offered at ClausFest, before you decide whether you wish to attend.  We're delighted so far with the Workshops we have approved.  We wanted to bring back the Workshops from 2012 that you indicated on the Exit Survey you wanted brought back, but we also wanted to offer some brand new Workshops too in order to have a good balance of topics and give you the latest information and tips on how you can improve your portrayal of Santa Claus.   Through this update, we hope you will be able to get insight on what you can expect at the Workshop lineup this year., although we haven't completely finished adding to the lineup.  We still have a few more Workshops that we are considering and will be updating this site again soon.

ClausFest 2014 will be having a Claus Family Round Table which is a relatively new concept that has been tried a couple of other places and went very well.  This Roundtable will be Moderated by none other than Santa Bill McKee.  It will be a Roundtable Discussion Event and will cover a wide variety of topics.  The Roundtable will be two interactive sessions wherein the Moderator will ask a panel of Santas, Mrs. Claus & Elves how they handle various situations.  This Workshop will be very informative for the New Claus Family members as well as offer some new insight to the more Seasoned members of the Claus Family.  It will be an open discussion event.

Santa Lou Bertone will be returning, by popular demand, to show Santas how they can make their own beautiful Walking Sticks for practically nothing.   He will have several of his own Walking Sticks at the Workshops to show and might even have some available to sell!

We were thrilled to be able to bring the one and ONLY  Rebecca Bennett back to ClausFest to have her Workshop on Working with the Deaf.  Those of you who attended in 2012 were in awe of Rebecca as she  presented her workshop as a true professional in this field and kept the entire class mesmerised with her knowledge and unique teaching ability of the American Sign Language.

We'll have a Workshop on the Art of Ventriloquism.  This topic has been in demand for a long time and finally two experts in the field have stepped up and offered to teach some of the tricks of the trade and how to keep your audience entertained.

Cindylu is back by demand and will be Hosting her Workshop on Hair and Beard Care.  She will cover every aspect of looking the best you possibly can from the Bleaching Process, Whitening Process right up to how to style 

 your hair and beard to look your very best every time you put on your Santa Suit!  This Class is usually jam packed, so get there early to make sure you get a seat!

Our Good Friend, Santa Steve Gillam is putting together two brand new Workshops that are sure to keep you fully entertained. The Proof is in the Props.   How do You Know My Name? Everyone who attended his classes in 2012 asked for Steve to return  in 2014. Sneek a Peek - The Ultimate Santa Experience.  His Classes were the #1 most requested to repeat, from 2012.  

Here's a list of other Workshops that will be on tap for ClausFest 2014

Magic and How to Entertain your Audience

Working With the Media

Santas Visit (a primer for the New AND Seasoned Santa)

Working With Pets 

The MALL Santa

Balloon Twisting and Sneak a Peek Santa 

Santa Magic & Costuming

Instant Photo Set Up

Mrs. Claus 101

Hair and Beard Care - Styling and Bleaching

Sign Language for Santa

All of our Presenters are Professionals in their fields of expertise.  You won't find any better  "Teachers" anywhere.

Please join us in thanking them for sharing their expertise with us on their own 'dime' and time!  

~   _________________________________________________________  ~

 From the Desk of:  Santa Lou and Loretta Claus -

"ClausFest 2014 Workshops …..A Sleigh Full of Fun and Information

What exciting times Loretta and I are having as we work with the current workshop presenters for ClausFest 2014, and research additional workshop ideas. Any successful meeting of Santas, Mrs. Claus' and Elves will hinge on comradery and the exchange of ideas as we learn how to better portray our characters. Our Santa Community is a vast resource of talent so ClausFest 2014 will offer lots of very informative sessions, including special interests as well as some light hearted “feel good” subjects to put a smile on your face. As we add additional workshops, our goal to provide a wide range of subjects will be considered so that every attendee will find value in the ClausFest 2014 experience. Above all, we want you to have fun and enjoy every minute of ClausFest2014.

We're proud to announce some important changes to the location of the workshops. Many of you have attended past sessions which were held in the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Although this is an outstanding facility it requires a long walk from most hotels or parking problems. This year, all the ClausFest 2014 workshops will be held in our host hotel; The River Terrace Resort & Convention Center. The River Terrace has the space for the workshops and is convenient to those of you staying at the River Terrace and surrounding accommodations. The River Terrace is the place to be and another good reason to make your reservations now. For reservations at the River Terrace Resort & Convention Center call (1-877-502-7058) and refer to code #14-575 for our special rates. For additional information on The River Terrace Resort & Convention Center, and ClausFest reservations, please visit www.clausfest2014.com.

In the coming months Loretta and I will be updating you about the workshops, presenters and a schedule of times and meeting rooms for the workshops. In the meantime; if you would like to present a workshop, know of one you would like to see, or have a comment. Please contact us at:

[email protected] Or [email protected]

Santa Lou and Loretta Claus

ClausFest 2014

Coming Back Home to Gatlinburg, Tennessee

March 15-19, 2014



Sept. 8, 2013

We are delighted to tell you that a very special workshop that received rave reviews in 2012 will be returning to ClausFest in 2014 by Popular Demand.  If you didn't get to attend this Workshop in 2012, here's your chance again!  

                                           SIGN LANGUAGE

    PRESENTED by none other than REBECCA BENNETT, our good friend and teacher from Virginia!  Those of you that have attended her Workshops/Seminars in the past know what a great Presenter, Teacher and Human Being Rebecca is and I know you will be thrilled that she is making a return visit to Gatlinburg and joining in the Fun and Magic that ClausFest is bringing to this beautiful area in March, 2014.  

Rebecca Bennett is well known for her teaching ability, style, and sense of humor.   She can teach a LOT in a short period of time.  You'll get to spend an hour and half at her Workshop and she'll be teaching Two of them at ClausFest.  This will give everyone an opportunity to attend her Seminar. Her Class is formulated especially for Santas and all those who work in the Santa Claus Industry.  You will learn how to communicate through American Sign Language.
This is what Rebecca had to say:

" Hi!  My name is ReBecca Bennett.  I went to school in Virginia for
 interpreting many years ago (I shan’t say how long else you guess my age), 
 have been interpreting in Virginia for at least ten years in the medical field, churches,  choirs (mainly Handel’s Messiah, but have traveled throughout DC and Little Washington for other musical groups), and military bases.  I have taught ASL for  twenty years in the community and in the school system, teaching from  preschool to college.  My students throughout the years have performed for President   Bush and his HMX-1 team and have traveled around Virginia, sharing music for ALL to experience. You can see some of the practice videos they use before class each day
                 on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/sign4uall
                 (hopefully I can get Santa Claus is Coming to Town up soon!)

I’m a two hearing aid (hate the things) packing momma with a                         Marine for a husband and two children with disabilities so I have many years of creative communication under my belt.    My goal in life is to be the person God and Santa want me to be.  It’s a daily struggle though I love it dearly!  Oh, and I’m a chocoholic, not a coffee person, so milk and cookies are right up my alley, as long as there’s some chocolate in there somewhere!"

Folks, this is a Workshop you don't want to miss!  We have a tremendous lineup of great Workshops and many of them are new and some returning from 2012.  Whether you are a brand new Santa just starting out, or a seasoned Santa that has been appearing for a number of years, there's something for everyone in our Workshop lineup, including Mrs. Claus, Elves and other Helpers.  Remember, the Workshops you will be attending at ClausFest are FULL Workshops with most being about an hour long with half an hour for the Presenters to spend in question and Answer sessions with the students.  

 Come one, come all, we'd love to see your smiling face in Gatlinburg, Tennessee;                     "Where Santa hangs his Hat and his Heart"~