If midnight is too far away to try and catch a glimpse of a certain jolly old elf then head over to the St. Albert Trail pedestrian bridge at the McKenney and Bellerose intersection. Santa Claus is coming to town once again.
It’s the fifth year in a row that our North Pole friend is paying an early visit to the city. With a hearty laugh, he explained that it all started as a sort of happy accident as he was getting back from some last minute St. Albert Centre shopping of his own.
“It just happened, based on circumstance,” he began. He had parked his sleigh at the shopping mall and was visiting some people.
“One day, I was crossing the pedway to make my way back to my sleigh and suddenly – and this is true – car horns were honking all over the four corners of the streets and roads down below. I stopped for a second, looked over and began to wave. More cars began to honk. People called out of the windows: ‘Merry Christmas, Santa!’ I was touched. Tears came to my eyes.”
Even with all of the preparations that he still needed to tend to back at the workshop, he stuck around for four more hours that day “waving to the shoppers and the good folks of St. Albert.” Hospitality and our city’s neighbourly reception made a deep impression.
He decided to make return visits every year and on December 24.
Santa will, therefore, be back again today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. waving to the passersby and even handing candy canes to those who make personal visits up the pedestrian bridge. Last year, he gave out 250 of the sweet treats to young and old alike.
The weather might be a bit chillier than it was earlier this week but don’t fear. Santa always dresses for the weather. “I’ve done -16C, -18C… Mrs. Claus will have double the clothing on as well.”