Santa on mo­tor­cy­cle to de­part from Rosedale

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­[email protected]­pub.com

It is com­mon knowl­edge that Santa Claus usu­ally trav­els across the world, from house to house, in a sleigh. But on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 8, St. Nick will switch up his ride to a Har­ley David­son mo­tor­cy­cle dur­ing this year’s Bal­ti­more Santa Launch event. Start­ing at 1 p.m., a group of dec­o­rated mo­tor­cy­clists will de­part from the Har­ley David­son of Bal­ti­more Store on 8845 Pu­laski High­way in Rosedale on a holly-jolly jour­ney to 34th St. in Ham­p­den.

Kevin Good­man, the event’s of­fi­cial Santa Claus, will be lead­ing the car­a­van with his own Har­ley dressed up as Ru­dolph the rein­deer, com­plete with a big, red nose and sleigh-rid­ing decor. He ex­plained that the event used to be a Christ­mas tra­di­tion for the area, but it stopped a few years back.

“It has al­ways made the chil­dren, and many adults, of Bal­ti­more very happy,” he said, adding that he de­cided to start it up again this year be­cause he knew he would have sup­port from other riders. “I de­cided that we needed to do it again. We’re just do­ing it to bring joy and hap­pi­ness to peo­ple.”

The group will ride coun­ter­clock­wise around 6-95 to exit 11, to 95 North, to 395 Down­town.

Then, they’ll ride through the In­ner Har­bor be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Pratt St. where they will exit down­town on 83 North to Exit 8 and over to Falls Rd. which will drop them right off right at 34th

St. where on­look­ers can meet them and take pic­tures with Santa.

Peo­ple are en­cour­aged to watch the rov­ing and revving Santa Clauses from the 6-95 bridge over­passes, or along the route, or at the fi­nal stop on 34th Street.

Good­man said that peo­ple of all ages will honk and wave as they ride by. All riders are en­cour­aged to dress in their hol­i­day best, but he said, with a laugh, that all of them are ab­so­lutely re­quired to wear rein­deer antlers on their hel­mets.

Good­man is a Car­ney res­i­dent, though if you ask him, he’ll say he is from the North Pole. He is one of the most prom­i­nent San­tas in Bal­ti­more, of­ten lead­ing the mayor’s Christ­mas Pa­rade and par­tic­i­pat­ing in var­i­ous events for char­i­ties such as the Ron­ald McDon­ald House.

Now, did he be­come Santa Claus?

“If you got a white beard, you can shave it off or you can be Santa and I chose the lat­ter,” he an­swered.

And it’s not just in De­cem­ber that Good­man em­braces the re­sem­blance. He said that lit­tle kids will some­times stop him on the street, ask­ing him if he’s Santa, even it’s in the sum­mer and he’s not wear­ing red.

Good­man said that vis­it­ing the fa­mous dec­o­rated blocks of 34th St. is an “amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery year” be­cause he gets to meet peo­ple from all over the world who came to Bal­ti­more to take in the clas­sic hol­i­day sights. Once, he was even in­ter­viewed by a Rus­sian news sta­tion.

An­other Santa Launch will be tak­ing in Dar­ling­ton the same week­end.

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