One of Beaty's best memories revolves around the holiday tunes that were pumped through the town via speakers during the last couple weeks of December.

"Christmas music was blasting away and no one complained," he recalled. "In fact, everyone looked forward to it."

Lois and Arnold Landvoight, who have lived in Savage for 42 years, are also fascinated by the town's short-lived fame as Santa's other home. They collect ornaments from the Santa Heim factory days.

"I've been buying them on eBay," Arnold Landvoight said. "I was looking for a flat, wood plane, which was a tool used in the days when there was an iron foundry here, and I stumbled on the novelties."

Some of his purchases have arrived from the online auction house in their original cardboard boxes.

"There's quite a bit of variety in the ornaments' designs," Lois Landvoight said, including stripes, floral patterns and stencils made with mica, a local mineral. Some are painted in unusual colors, like pink and turquoise.

She enjoys decorating artificial trees with the antique collectibles and showing them off at the annual historical society Christmas party at the couple's home each year.

"This is Lois' time of year," Arnold said.

It's also a special holiday in Savage.

At "Miracle on Foundry Street," a Dec. 7 ceremony marking the first-ever lighting of the historic Bollman Truss Bridge, the town came together to celebrate the season and retell the story of its days as Santa's other home.

"People want to be proud of the town and its early history," Menne said. "There's a strong sense of community there that has nothing to do with the shops and restaurants, but with the people.

"For that one night, Savage was once again a Christmas town," he said.