Hundreds gather in Crown Point to see Santa arrive
A decades-long holiday tradition continued in Crown Point Saturday when Santa Claus was flown in on a Lake County Sheriff ’s Department helicopter to kick off the city’s Christmas season.
After landing at Pointe Plaza, where they were greeted by a few hundred people, Santa, joined by Mrs. Claus, hopped on a firetruck for a ride down Main Street to the downtown square, where hundreds more awaited their arrival.
Before Santa and Mrs. Claus made their way inside the historic courthouse for photos with children, the couple was greeted on the building’s steps by Mayor David Uran, who read a resolution supporting Small Business Saturday.
“We are anxious to see the little kids,” Santa Claus said.
Uran said having Santa arrive via helicopter and paraded down Main Street is a city tradition they would like to carry on.
“We are a family community, and this is where a lot of people stake their flag and want to raise their families,” Uran said. “We want to honor those traditions that help with those family values.”
Fire Chief Dave Crane said the department is happy to escort Santa because the holiday season is about the kids.
“If we can start it off on a positive note, that is what we are after,” he said.
The festivities included Christmas carols sung by local choirs including the S o u t h l a k e C h i l d r e n ’s Choir, whose member Amber Mann, 13, said she was especially excited to see Mrs. Claus and to sing for the families.
“I like spreading joy and Christmas cheer everywhere,” Amber said.
Fellow choir member Annabelle Moke, 13, said she saw Santa there two years ago and “it will be fun to see him again.”
More than 30 vendors were set up for the city’s annual Winter Market. Tony Schifino, of A.J. Specialties, said they always get a good turnout.
“People come from all over,” he said.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stationed from noon to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday through Christmas.
Crown Point Councilman Andrew Kyres said Santa’s annual arrival at Pointe Plaza has been a beautiful Christmas tradition since before he moved there 30 years ago.
“Our residents and visitors always enjoy the camaraderie, fellowship and fun that Santa and his helpers bring on this day,” he said.
Santa Claus greets his fans as he arrives at the Crown Point Courthouse on Saturday.
Lulu Wagnon, 3, and her aunt, Karine Huis, look for Santa Claus before his arrival.
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Crown Point Courthouse on Saturday.