Nov. 25—GIRARDVILLE — Children got an early taste of Christmas on Thursday as Santa Claus made his annual trip to the borough to spread holiday cheer and goodwill.
More than 100 visitors lined up at borough hall on Thanksgiving evening for a chance to meet the jolly old elf.
Before arriving at his destination, Santa rode around town in the pickup truck of Girardville Fire Chief Frank J. Zangari Jr. as part of a boroughwide procession.
Sirens blared and lights flashed all around as Santa, flanked by police and fire vehicles, made his way to the youngsters eagerly awaiting his arrival.
"Ho! Ho! Ho!" Santa said, waving to bystanders on his way into the hall.
Once inside, children had the opportunity to sit on Santa's lap, exchange a few words with him and get photos. They were each given a large candy cane filled with chocolate and, afterwards, got a chance to meet Rudolph the reindeer.
Some of the children brought handwritten letters to Santa, and a special mailbox was set up for delivery to Santa's workshop at the North Pole.
The event was sponsored by the Good Time Club of Girardville, which has hosted Santa visits for the past 40 years and counting. The club also sponsors the borough's Christmas street decorations, a collection of lighted green, red and yellow bells along Main Street.
The procession on Thursday stepped off at East Mahanoy Avenue and wound its way around various streets in the borough, including Main Street, before circling around to the corner of B and Fourth streets, where borough hall is located.
Before the pandemic, the parade ended at Girard Hose Company No. 1, but COVID-19 protocols called for a larger venue to accommodate Santa's visits. Moving forward, the club intends to keep holding the festivities at borough hall, partly due to the increasing number of visitors over the past few years, club President Todd Selgrade said.
After meeting Santa, several of the children took to a set of nearby crafts tables and made paper ornaments.
The ornaments will be laminated and hung on the Christmas tree outside borough hall.
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