By: Paul Milliken, FOX 5 – Good Day Atlanta

You watch the classic television special every single holiday, and you might have a stuffed toy or two representing the characters sitting out by your Christmas tree. But if you’ve never actually seen Rudolph and Santa in person — and we mean the real Rudolph and Santa — Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts is ready to change that.

“Christmas Town at the Center for Puppetry Arts” is a special exhibit dedicated to the stop-motion TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” produced by Rankin/Bass and first aired in December of 1964. 

The star attractions of the exhibit are original Santa and Rudolph puppets used in the special, which are on view to the public for the time since 15 years. The puppets are on loan to the Center, and are the same ones featured on an episode of “Antiques Roadshow” back in 2005 when a family member of a Rankin/Bass employee brought them out of the attic to be appraised on TV! 

Of course, the Center for Puppetry Arts is also well-connected to the Rudolph legend, thanks to its annual recreation of the special in a stunning live performance. That will be happening again this year, along with a workshop for families in which visitors can make their own Rudolph puppet.

So, ready for a visit to Christmas Town? The exhibit is set to run through Jan. 2 at the Center for Puppetry Arts, located at 1404 Spring Street NW in Atlanta. Visitors can see the puppets with the $15 museum-only ticket, or purchase an all-inclusive that covers the museum, the live performance, and the puppet workshop. Click here for more details.

Of course, we couldn’t wait to see these unearthed holiday treasures on display, so we spent a morning at the Center for Puppetry Arts learning more about their story. Click the video player to check it out!

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