Santa is coming to town

by Briana Sutherland
Contributing writer

Santa and his helpers were kept busy for the ninth annual Santa Day hosted by Otsego Parks and Recreation Commissionon Dec. 10. Sleigh rides, cookies, candy canes and a few moments with Santa kept over 800 families busy Saturday afternoon.

Madilyn Swanson and her sister, Brylee Swanson, had a great time visiting Santa with their Grandma Trudi.

“We had a wonderful turn out; I think our best to date. Lines were around an hour in length,” said Mayor Jessica Stockamp, who handed out candy canes to children after their photos were taken.

Santa heard everything from children wanting Wii games, hockey gear, a red fire truck, a Justin Bieber doll, princess dresses and everything in between. Printed photos with Santa were available this year from Quality Photo as well as the opportunity for parents to snap their own.

Julie Torresani and Junior Miss Otsego Cami Rose helped serve sweets to families all afternoon.

Madilyn and Brylee Swanson were excited to tell Santa their Christmas list, with Madilyn proudly wearing a shirt saying, “Dear Santa, I Love You.” No child was too small for Santa, either, as he held two-week old Sarah Olson for her first photo with Santa.

Little Miss Otsego Olivia Damman was busy entertaining children as they waited their turn in line to see Santa, and Junior Miss Otsego Cami Rose was one of many who helped serve cookies and cider after families visited with Santa.

Two-week-old Sarah Olson snuggled with Santa as her photo was snapped.

Despite the biting winds, the horse-drawn sleigh ride provided by Wild Woods Sleigh and Carriage was busy until the end of the event. “Jingle Bells” could be heard from the families in the sleigh clear across the park as they enjoyed the ride.

After another successful year and a great crowd families can look forward to Santa visiting once again next Christmas.






photo by Kara Stritesky

Santa made his list, checked it twice and found out who was naughty or nice when he came to Elk River to listen to Christmas wishes from over 800 families of the area. The Elk River Parks and Recreation Commission along with the River’s Edge Downtown Business Association partnered to host Elk River’s annual Santa Day Dec. 10.   

Brooke Huber, 4, loved the live camel.

Santa brought along a baby camel, baby reindeer, baby bighorn sheep, baby ibex and a baby mule deer to the River’s Edge Commons Park; that event was a favorite of many children. The Command Performance Choir sang at Olde Main Eatery  and near the park. There was also a performance by toy soldiers from Edward Jones. Children were also given the opportunity to drop off their letters in Santa’s mailbox to get to him in time for Christmas.

Sisters Abbigale Johnson, 6, and Gracie Johnson, 3, got their faces painted at the new Arts Alliance location.

Santa is expected to return to Elk River again next winter.

Kieran Hubler, 8, and Josephine Hubler, 3, told Santa what they wanted for Christmas.