Holiday Weekend Event: Rides On Santa’s Sleigh Brightened An Overcast Sunday
Santa Claus visited Sandy Hook last weekend and took dozens of people of all ages for rides on his sleigh.
Chaperoned by members and family of Tolland Fire Department, who have a special relationship with Mr Claus and host an annual tour with one of his sleighs, a group from the northern Connecticut town spent six hours offering rides on a sled (named, appropriately, Engine 12-25) on December 2. The rides started from and returned to the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company main station, and all were welcome to enjoy the free holiday event.
By the end of the evening, 290 people had enjoyed a ride on the main sled or an auxiliary sled that was put into use on Sunday, according to a contact at Tolland Fire. Each sled carried up to six adults, with many opting to carry children on their laps.
Engine 12-25 is mounted to a trailer, with a group of nine lawn ornament reindeers leading the way, positioned over the tongue of the trailer. Outlined in rope lighting, the reindeer appear to be pulling the sleigh into the air when their trailer is being pulled. In addition, flood lights positioned around the sled illuminated the vehicle, adding to the moving holiday display once darkness set in.
Once the sun went down — or the skies fully darkened, since it was rainy and misty all day — a Tolland fire engine joined the convoy of vehicles that also included a Sandy Hook truck as the lead vehicle and another Sandy Hook piece of apparatus as the chase vehicle. Tolland’s engine is covered with 20,000 holiday lights, synched to music that plays from speakers also mounted to the vehicle.
While the weather was not as pleasant as it had been the previous two years, most of those who took a ride returned to the Riverside Road fire station with broad smiles. “Worth the wait” was heard a number of times as parents reached for the hands of their children, many still beaming at Santa Claus.
Santa climbed down from the sled between every ride. While the next group was getting onto the sled and readying for their ride, he knelt with every child who wanted to have their photo taken with him.
Inside one of the bays of the firehouse, Sandy Hook Ladies Auxiliary members were serving warm cider and hot chocolate. Guests were also invited to enjoy cookies, candy canes, and popcorn balls. A coloring station was set up for all ages to enjoy, with pages of holiday themed illustrations ready to be colored. A collection of games was also laid out, which kept many children entertained during the long wait for their ride.
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