By Elf Edwin

NORTH POLE — Santa Claus announced Tuesday that he will be spending time in North Texas, staying in Lewisville on vacation with Mrs. Claus.  Santa will arrive in Lewisville Saturday morning, Dec. 3, where he will be the guest of honor at the annual Lewisville Holiday Stroll.

He will stay in town for at least two weeks before he has to return to the North Pole.  On Christmas Eve, Santa and his reindeer make their seasonal visits to all the good boys and girls, bringing them gifts and Christmas cheer.

Rotary pancake breakfast always draws a crowd. (File photo by Steve Southwell, 2015)
Rotary pancake breakfast always draws a crowd. (File photo by Steve Southwell, 2015)

Santa will begin his visit by having breakfast at the MCL Grand Theater on Saturday morning.  The Lewisville Morning Rotary sponsors the annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa.  The public can join Santa from 8 a.m. to noon for pancakes and sausage.  Tickets for the breakfast are $5 for adults and $3 for children.  Tickets are available at the door.

From 2 – 5:30 p.m., Santa will set up in the MCL Grand Theater, so that children can visit him and tell him what they would like for Christmas. Children who visit Santa during this time can receive a button with a photo of their visit. Mrs. Claus will read stories to the kids from 12:30 – 4 p.m.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 5, Santa Claus will join the Lewisville Fire Department each night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., driving around the city to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  The fire department is taking Santa to each and every neighborhood and apartment complex in the city.  Listen carefully each night for short bursts of the fire engine sirens and a jolly “Ho ho ho!” from Santa, who will ride atop the fire engine.  An ambulance will follow behind them unless they get too busy.

If you see Santa in your neighborhood, be sure to wave hello to him, and he might even throw a treat!

Santa with Lewisville Fire Department's Quint 162 - several years ago. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Baldwin)
Santa with Lewisville Fire Department’s Quint 162 – several years ago. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Baldwin)

Each fire engine or truck is full of firefighters and paramedics ready to save a life or put out a fire if something happens while they are out.

Lewisville Fire Department's live Santa tracker screenshot
Lewisville Fire Department’s live Santa tracker screenshot

Because the firefighters can be very busy this time of year, they cannot say in advance which neighborhoods they will visit each night.  But the city has prepared a special live-updating Santa-tracker map that will show where Santa is each night.

Fire Chief Tim Tittle said it should take about two weeks for Santa and the firefighters to visit each neighborhood— unless emergencies or bad weather interfere.  The chief and his firefighters appreciate Santa’s help.  By riding with Santa around the city, it gives the firefighters a chance to get familiar with all of the streets, and make sure that their engines can get around.  Sometimes narrow streets, parked cars, and low-hanging trees can make it challenging for the 11-foot-tall engines to get through.  The firefighters want to make sure they can get to all homes in case of an emergency.

Santa also expects to spend some time in local malls talking to children.  He says he will visit his friend Krampus in Denton on Saturday night.

“I love visiting Lewisville,” said Santa.  “It is so cold at the North Pole, so I love coming to Texas to warm up.”  Santa Claus has been visiting Lewisville each year before Christmas for many years.  He has been riding around with the firefighters for about 11 years.

Santa said he hopes the children will come to visit him and tell him what they would like for Christmas.

All of the boys and girls should be on their best behavior though.  “I see you when you’re sleeping.  I know when you’re awake” he said.  “I know when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”

Note:  This story has been updated Friday based on the cancellation of the Christmas Parade, and relocation of outdoor activities to the MCL Grand Theater due to weather.