The Big Guy is scheduled to make his entrance during the Christmas Lighting Ceremony, which is 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at Washington Park. The event is sponsored by KeyBank in association with the Sandusky Community Celebrations Council and the Sandusky Main Street Association.
Santa was kind enough to grant the Sandusky Register a brief interview.
“We always look forward to meeting the children of Sandusky,” he said. “They are so cheerful, so energetic.”
The children greet the famous Christmas couple every year with big warm smiles, Santa said.
But one thing has changed this year: There’s a new parade route.
Santa will lead the procession beginning at Schade-Mylander Plaza, where at 6:10 p.m. he lights up the Christmas tree at the plaza.
Then, the merry bunch will travel up Columbus Avenue, turning left onto Washington Row, right onto Wayne, and then right onto Washington before stopping at the gazebo to illuminate the park lights. He ends up at the Cookie House, where he greets his adoring fans.
• WHAT: Santa lighting ceremony and parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus coming to town.
• WHEN: 6 p.m. Nov. 29
• NEW PARADE ROUTE: Starts at Jackson Street Pier, travels down Water Street to Schade-Mylander Plaza. At 6:10 p.m. Santa turns on the lights before traveling up Columbus Avenue. The parade route heads left onto Washington Row, right onto Wayne, then right onto Washington before reaching the gazebo for the illumination ceremony. Santa will then head to the Cookie House to meet children.
“Santa loves to come here for the beauty of the parks. It reminds me of North Pole City,” Santa said. “Sandusky is a winter wonderland, and it gets better every year.”
After children get their pictures snapped with Santa, the fun doesn’t have to stop. The night’s activities include a live manger scene across from the gazebo.
And Santa certainly wouldn’t approve of an event that didn’t involve cookies and refreshments by the Salvation Army at the corner of Columbus Avenue, as well as by Grace Episcopal Church at the corner of Wayne and Washington streets.
Several businesses will be open to visitors, including the Museum of Carousel Art & History, the Follett House and the Masonic Temple. The Popcorn Wagon, the Gyro Cart, the Pop N’ Kernel Kettle Korn of Huron and Java Sensations will be operating as well.
Santa will be in Sandusky regularly until Dec. 23, when he has to leave to finalize plans for the big night. While he’ll be busy throughout, it doesn’t mean he won’t notice when children are naughty.
“Bernard, my head elf, will have the Naughty and Nice list. I see it at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day, so Santa is always watching,” Santa said.
• Santa’s hours at the Cookie House are 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 6-8, Dec. 13-15, Dec. 17 (reindeer night), Dec. 20-22, and Dec. 23.
He’s not the only one looking forward to the Christmas season, as even the reindeer get excited for holidays in Sandusky.
Another popular time to visit Santa is Reindeer Night, sponsored by Value City Furniture, which takes place from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 17 downtown.
The reindeer compete in the annual Reindeer Games to see which two will get to visit Sandusky for Reindeer Night, Santa said.
“The Reindeer Games are like the Olympics. They run, they jump, they fly and do maneuvers,” Santa said. “It is very prestigious for the reindeer.”