Story by Janmarie Foschini
Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and their Elves visited Greenwood Lake on Sat., Dec. 15 during the annual “Santa Run.” This event is hosted by the Greenwood Lake Volunteer Fire Department and now marks over 15 years of this annual holiday occasion.
The volunteer firefighters first began this tradition years ago by bringing Santa Claus to the homes of members families who had children. Each year more and more neighbors come out to catch a view of Santa arriving by fire truck. Eight years ago the department decided to expand the event to everyone by trying to visit additional areas in the Village, allowing more children the opportunity to see Santa Claus.
As time went on the department created a Facebook page and began posting routes and stops for various neighborhoods. This allowed parents and families to plan accordingly to meet Santa at one of the many stops around the Village.
The event on Saturday began mid morning and lasted all day and drew large crowds of families to various Santa stops. Sirens and horns could be heard throughout the Village and lights were flashing as Santa, Mrs. Claus and their Elves made their arrival in the old fashioned fire truck. Santa’s fancy ride was escorted by the fire chief’s vehicle and several fire trucks joined in the lineup. Each truck was decorated with colorful lights and wreaths and the volunteers were dressed festively.
Santa and his helpers greeted children with hugs and smiles while happily posing for pictures with the excited youngsters. Children were given candy canes from the Elves and jolly wishes from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
As Santa and his helpers left each stop, children hugged Santa, while parents thanked the volunteers for creating memories and smiles for their children. As the festive line up drove off blowing their horns and flashing their lights, children happily waved to Santa and friends with smiles on their faces.
Fire Department Vice President Jackie Lowenberg, who coordinated and planned this event with other members said, “It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Our department, which is 100 percent volunteer, loves to come together for the Santa run and give kids the opportunity to see Santa at their home or in their neighborhood. I think it’s a great way to help keep the spirit of Christmas alive in our tiny Village.”
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!