‘Big Santa’ will make his way across the Mississippi for new holiday spot

Local News

A well-known Christmas attraction in the Quad-Cities will be on the move to help the mission of a Davenport boy.

The big Santa at Henry’s Christmas Yard, Moline, stands almost 33 feet tall, and has become a staple of the yard. But now Santa will travel across the river to Brayden’s Winter Wonderland.

This is the last year for Henry’s Christmas Yard, and owner Scott Hildebrand wanted to pass the big Santa on to 11-year-old Brayden Mildren because of his passion for Christmas.

Brayden’s Winter Wonderland is one of the most well-decorated Christmas yards in the Quad-Cities. It has more than 70 inflatables in a display designed by Brayden himself.

Next Christmas, the yard will add the big Santa from Scott Hildebrand. Local 4 News was able to break the good news to Brayden, and he’s very excited for the big Santa’s arrival.

“What? I don’t know how to keep that up!” he said.

It’s a long process getting the big Santa set up, but young Brayden is up for the challenge.

“It’s going to be really exciting, but hard at the same time to get it set up,” he said. “If it’s too windy, you don’t want it to blow over, so it’s going to be hard. You gotta put bricks in the foot and everything so it’s going to be hard.”

Brayden’s father, Bill, helps him set up everything in the Wonderland yard. He, too, looks forward to bringing the big Santa to their yard.

“This is something, like you said, that’s an icon of the Quad Cities,” Bill said. “Everybody wants to see the big Santa. Well, for the opportunity for us to get it, and we’ve got a spot, it’s going to be great. Scott (Hildebrand) has been an inspiration for us and it’s really cool to pass on the torch to us.”

Brayden will now have to watch the weather every day to check how strong the wind is to make sure the big Santa won’t get blown over.

“If it gets near 10 to 12 miles per hour it can start whipping back and forth, which will put a lot of stress on the tie downs,” said Hildebrand.

The next step is for Brayden to figure out where in his yard the big Santa will go.

Brayden’s Winter Wonderland is located at 915 Idaho Avenue in Davenport.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.