Santa and his gang wave goodbye to Fountains of Wayne | Economy | -- Your State. Your News.

May 28th
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Santa and his gang wave goodbye to Fountains of Wayne

bigsanta050109_optBY GREG SAITZ

In the end, this is what Santa was worth: $25 a foot.

For $1,000, a certain someone walked away with a 40-foot Fiberglass Santa that used to tower over the Fountains of Wayne store on Route 46 in Wayne during the holidays. Well, no one really walks anywhere with a giant, waving Santa that’s nearly seven times taller than them.

But the unknown person was the winning bidder at a recent auction held to raise money for creditors of the iconic outdoor furniture, fountain and knickknack store that went out of business in March. The store, which once served as a back drop for a Sopranos episode, also was the inspiration for a pop rock band by the same name.

“I don’t know his intentions for giant Santa,” said Randy Fridkis of Randy L. Fridkis Auctions, which conducted the sale.

He declined to name the winning bidder. But Fridkis said he asked the man if he’d ship Santa to Florida so Fridkis could plant him on a friend’s lawn during Hanukkah as a practical joke.

In all, the auction raised more than $200,000 for creditors, said attorney Stephen Ravin, a court-appointed assignee who is in charge of unwinding the business.

“It was a very successful sale,” Ravin said. “I think it made a lot of people happy to not only buy assets they would have a use for but also the sentimental aspect.”

Don Winters, who ran Fountains of Wayne, created unique Christmas displays on one of the store’s floors that drew visitors from all over the area during the holidays. There was Santa scuba diving, Santa sleeping, characters from The Wizard of Oz, Santa among pirates, Santa on the set of “Survivor,” Santa at a sushi bar and even Santa in Hawaii.

Fridkis said a $5,200 bid bought all the holiday displays. Published reports said two men, one of whom has played Santa for years, and the other who enthusiastically decorates his home at Christmas time, combined to purchase the displays.

Ravin said as far as he knew, no one from the musical group or The Sopranos showed up at the auction.



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