Santa comes through in Saratoga

 

Sun file photo

Kanean Roberts, left, and Frank Crimmins tell Santa their Christmas wishes at last year's Winter Wonderland event.

All the good children of the Platte Valley will have a chance to let Santa know what they hope to get for Christmas during Winter Wonderland 6 p.m., Dec. 7 at the Platte Valley Community Center.

The jolly, generous Mr. and Mrs. Claus will fly in from the North Pole just in time for the Christmas Parade at 5:30 p.m.

The parade starts on River and Bridge streets, travels west to Second Street and turns into the Community Center parking lot.

"There is no theme, but it is a chance for businesses and organizations to get into the holiday spirit and have some fun," Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Stacy Crimmins said.

Businesses and organizations are encouraged to create a float showing off the product they sell or service they promote, but anyone who wants to be involved in any capacity is invited.

With so many people coming downtown for the event, Crimmins encourages businesses to stay open later than usual.

"We would love to encourage businesses to stay open later that night and invite the people watching the parade to see Christmas inventory and have a cup of hot cocoa," Crimmins said. "It is a chance early in the season to showcase and encourage shopping locally."


After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will set up shop in the Great Hall of the community center.

Valley Service Organization members will be serving free chili, hot cocoa and cookies at the Winter Wonderland, a 35-year-old tradition.

"They started (in 1979) on Veterans Island and used a little stone house," Sue Jones said. "It was just a community service project to give people a chance to get together and get in the mood of the season."

Winter Wonderland moved to warmer climates after the community center opened up and, in the last few years, has coincided with the parade to offer people somewhere to go after the show.

The highlight of the night for the children has not changed in the last three decades.

"It's unique in that Santa does not leave until every kid has a chance to see him, and Santa takes as much time as the kid needs," Crimmins said. "Santa is here for the kids."

 

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