Santa parade set to pull into Central Park Christmas Eve
Santa Claus will make his annual Christmas Eve visit to Fairfield, sponsored by the local Rotary Club, late Friday afternoon.
Just as he has almost every year for the past 80, Santa and his entourage will arrive in Central Park between 5-5:30 p.m. to pass out treats to children and to take their last-minute gift wishes.
The Christmas Eve ritual begins about 4:15 p.m. when parade, including Santa’s tractor-powered sleigh pulls into Fairfield.
According to parade chairman Steve Beltramea, the parade will begin at the Fairfield Armory. It will enter the city from the west on Burlington Avenue, turn south on Sixth Street, east on Adams Avenue, then south on Maple Street. The parade will circle the old Jefferson County Hospital; proceed north on Highland Street, west on Burlington Avenue, north on D Street, west on Broadway Avenue, south on B Street, then west on Burlington to the Fairfield square.
The parade will circle the square and stop on the west side of Central Park.
Plans are for each child to sit in the sleigh and chat with Santa for a few minutes before receiving a small, plastic bag full of treats.
Rotarians Jennifer Osby, Ron Haines, Ginny Hughes, Connie Boyer and the Rotary Interact Club members will be assisting Santa. Dick Reed will be standing in for Santa.
Karl Metcalf will be driving Santa’s sleigh, and Dave Reiff will drive the bell truck.
Rotarians J.H. Montgomery and Fred Jericho started the Santa parade in 1926. The first parade was held on Christmas Day, with not many spectators. The next year, it was switched to Christmas Eve to attract a larger audience.
In the early years of the Christmas Eve parade, Bill Stever’s four draft horses drew Santa’s sleigh. The horses wore special bridles decorated with reindeer antlers, weighing 20 pounds and held apart with a hockey stick.
Stever also supplied horses for four to eight outriders. The outriders dressed in red suits and tall red hats, and the horses had colorful blankets.
For the complete article, see the Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.