Santa Claus is coming to town

November 25, 2008

By Jon Savelle

Busy schedule for reindeer, too

The holidays would not be complete without that jovial gentleman in red, and indeed he is making several appearances here in December. So are his reindeer. Santa won’t have his flying friends with him at all venues, of course. That honor rests solely with the Cougar Mountain Zoo, where from Dec. 1-23 Santa and the reindeer will put on a show every day. 

On the last day of the festival, the zoo’s two young tigers will get to open their presents. The gifts are made to be mangled, and the tigers do not disappoint.

“They open them up and destroy them,” said zoo curator Robin Barfoot.

Should the zoo not suit, there are plenty of alternatives. Petco, at 975 N.W. Gilman Blvd., is offering pet photos with Santa from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13. For $8.95 the pet/person will receive a framed picture from the event plus the satisfaction of knowing that $5 of the price will help homeless animals.

In Preston, Eastside Fire & Rescue crews at Station 74 will put on their annual holiday open house from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 7. The free, all-volunteer event includes Santa, who moonlights at other times as a retired firefighter. He will visit with children and pose for photographs while other firefighters lead tours of the station, hand out treats and give free rides on the Rudolph Engine, a fire truck with a sleigh on top.

This might be enough work for Santa in one season, especially considering his global chimney-diving obligations, but the ever-accommodating icon of yuletide is also showing up at the Train Depot Dec. 6. Santa will hold court in the depot from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Later that same day, Santa will be on hand for the annual lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at Front Street North and Northeast Dogwood Street. He will be there at 4:30 p.m. and hopes you will be, too.

Reach Reporter Jon Savelle at 392-6434, ext. 234, or jsavelle@isspress.com. 

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