Well, the weather outside may have been frightful, but the warm and cheery greeting a certain North Pole visitor received in Iroquois on Thursday evening, December 15, more than made up for rain.
Guest of honour, Santa Claus, arrived at the Royal Canadian Legion a little damp of fur, but in great spirits, to join his chief elf in the gala celebration.
Delivered in a brightly decorated red fire truck by members of the Iroquois Fire Department (we hear his reindeer were off shopping), Santa wasted no time rushing in to visit with the over 400 children and parents waiting to talk to him.
Lots of HoHos and plenty of hugs soon warmed everyone up.
The Iroquois Business Group, which organized the reception for Santa, was assisted by Donald Barkley, River Rat Treasures and the Legion. Presents for every child were donated by the Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club, while Byers Furniture made sure that all kids went home with a special treat bag.
Joining in the fun were the Parents Council and teachers of Iroquois Public School who arranged a home-made hot chili or hot dog supper for visitors as part of a school fund raiser.
“The food was all made by IPS parents and staff,” said teacher Jennifer Perry. “We served between 350 and 400 meals on Thursday evening. We certainly weren’t expecting that many to turn out, since this was our first time trying things this way, but we were totally thrilled,” Perry laughed. The support of the community allowed the school to raise nearly $800 in the campaign to replace aging school yard playground equipment.
Organizers had set up activity and craft centres for the very excited little visitors.
“We had to change our hay rides around town to see the Christmas lights into bus rides, with all the rain,” said Candace Menges, “but everyone seemed to have a good time.”
Special contests and draws were held during the celebration. Organizers were happy to note that Santa’s “missing” reindeer had a great time “shopping” in the mall.
The Leader spotted Santa busily updating his “Nice Files” as he left Iroquois to return to the North Pole.