The weather grounded the helicopter, but Santa rode in on a fire engine!
TINA L. SCOTT
The Pine River Volunteer Fire Department Fire House in the Town of Pine River was the place to be Saturday afternoon, Dec. 10, 2022. Children and parents gathered before 1:00 p.m., excited to see Santa arrive in a helicopter as the fire fighters had hoped. Alas, the weather didn’t cooperate and the helicopter was grounded.
“Santa, along with the rest of us, was really sad he couldn’t arrive by helicopter due to the weather; however, he really enjoyed his ride in the fire engine,” organizers said. Indeed he did.
With sirens blaring, lights flashing, and Santa ringing the bell, Santa made a grand entrance pulling into the Fire House yard for his third annual visit to see all the area children and was so excited to see the large crowd outside awaiting his arrival.
Volunteers had prepared treat goodie bags for the kids, cookies from the Polka Dotted Pie were delicious and went so fast, they ran out, and Northwoods Maple Store supplied sweet and delicious maple syrup suckers for the event. The kids enjoyed cocoa, and after the cookies ran out, volunteers made popcorn for an afternoon snack. And all the kids had a chance to win one of two bicycles–a pink and blue one for a lucky girl–and a green and black one for a lucky boy. “The parents of the bike winners have been notified, and we know at least one of those bikes will be a surprise under the tree,” organizers said.
The Third Annual Santa in the Fire House was a huge success. “The turnout was overwhelming,” organizers said, “and we were so happy to interact with such wonderful families.” Organizers said there were more families and kids than ever, and they made a conservative estimate that 175 children came to see Santa Claus this year.
Santa was delighted to interact with kids from just a few weeks old all the way to those who were a wee bit older but still young at heart, and he posed for pictures with little ones and entire families. But finding out if the children had been good boys and girls and what they wanted for Christmas, answering their questions, and letting them ring his sleigh bells were the most important things on Santa’s mind.
A steady stream of children came through the Fire House for most of the afternoon until 4:00 p.m., and some of the children had a chance to check out the inside of a fire engine, too. Pine River fire fighters hope visitors were able to make a day of it in Pine River by picking up or cutting their own Christmas tree from one of the many tree farms in the area.
“We cannot wait to see you all next year!” they said.
The Pine River Fire Department posted an update on their Facebook page on Monday, Dec. 12: “We took a call from Santa last night that he had returned safely to the North Pole after a great weekend meeting boys and girls such as yourself,” the post said. “He wanted to pass on a special thanks to a young girl who came to see him at our fire station event on Saturday. Santa said he was thankful you brought the milk and cookies when you met him. He ate them on the way back home and they really hit the spot until he was able to enjoy a warm meal with Mrs. Claus.”
“Thanks again, you really made Santa’s day.”
P.S. “He also reminded everyone to be on their best behavior, as he is really checking his list hard with less than two weeks to go.”