By Zach Jones
A view of some of the trees Kleerview Farm has in supply this holiday season.
Kevin Kleer visits his reindeer pen, which houses the five deer at Kleerview.
Kleerview Farm aims to provide its customers with more than just a tree to adorn their homes during the holiday season, as owners, Kevin and Debbie Kleer, have fitted their 230-acre parcel of land to provide visitors from around the area, the state and the country with the “complete Christmas experience.”
The Bellville-based farm is covered in all things Noel, from the “Christmas House,” a 130-year old house that is fully outfitted in Christmas decor, to “Santa’s Barnyard Express,” a walk-through exhibit of Kleerview’s pigs, turkeys and horses.
Along with the decorations and barnyard fauna, comes a living reminder of Christmas traditions, in the farm’s five reindeer: Blitzen, Noel, Belle, Crystal and Nicholas.
“We bought them about four or five years ago,” Kevin Kleer said. “They are a very rare find. We got lucky to get ours.”
The Kleers purchased their original three deer from a breeder in Michigan, while Crystal and Nicholas were born last spring.
In addition to filling out the Kleerview Christmas theme, the reindeer are used in a variety of displays around the area and the state.
“We’re trying to do local displays for schools, churches and benefits,” Kevin Kleer said. “But we’re going all over.”
The immense popularity of the hooved herd has even bolstered revenue at the farm, as Kevin Kleer said sales are up 44 percent since including them in the farm’s annual festivities.
While the Christmas attractions add to the festive nature of the farm, the trees themselves are what drive the Kleers to continue to expand their agri-tourism business.
Kleerview currently offers four distinct varieties of evergreens: Blue Spruces, Scotch Pines, Fraser Firs and White Pines.
The 11-person staff at the farm offers full-service tree shopping, which includes cutting and netting individual selections.
“I always tell people to buy a tree or wreath to help feed the reindeer,” Kevin Kleer jokes. “Everything here is free, but tree sales are what keep us going.”
This year, Kleerview is also offering guests a chance to brighten the holiday season for area families in need with the Holiday Hope Tree program.
Patrons can purchase a $25 tree and stand that will be donated to a family in need.
Kleerview Farm is open on weekdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones.