MCADOO — Santa may be used to reindeer pulling his sleigh, but Thursday night, it was a McAdoo fire vehicle leading the way.
The man in red is visiting kids in McAdoo and surrounding areas for the next four nights.
It is a program the McAdoo Fire Company has run for about 45 years.
“We built our own sleigh out of wood about 10 years ago, the wood frame made it look like a sleigh, have it all decorated for the Christmas season,” said Assistant Fire Chief Tony Vigna.
The volunteer fire company will take Santa in the special sleigh to 55 houses this year for four nights.
They stop at homes after families sign up for the visit.
Kids get to sit in Santa’s lap and get a gift.
There is no cost, but folks can donate to the fire company.
“I’ve been doing it for many years now, and it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s nice that they come here and do that for us,” said Marcella Malega of Beaver Meadows.
“The children love it so much they look forward to it and we really appreciate that they do this for our kids,” said Joanne Hornick of Beaver Meadows.
“It’s wonderful, it’s great. I used to do it when I was a kid, I used to go around with them, and now I have my own kids that Santa comes to see,” said Lance Borchick of Beaver Meadows.
Members of the fire company said this is a holiday tradition they look forward to. In past years, they’ve had to take Santa’s sleigh through blizzards, rain and wind. They have even had to take the sleigh to fight fires, but they always make it to visit the kids.
“Not only is it a good time seeing the kids, but they guys have a good time doing it too, and it just makes it extra special when you an put that smile on those kids faces,” said Assistant Chief Bob Leshko.
This year, fire company members said they will visit 160 kids.