CLEARFIELD – Take a group of firefighters, some colored lights, goodie bags and a dash of Christmas spirit and you get the annual Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Santa Tour.
According to event organizers Beth Williams and Michele Capitos, the tour had been something the fire department had done many years ago, but the tradition had fallen by the wayside.
About four or five years ago, the officers at the fire department decided to resurrect the tour and bring a little Christmas cheer to the residents of Clearfield Borough.
Since then, the tour has grown so popular that the department had to deploy two sets of Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with their various elves and helpers, in order to reach as many people as possible. This year, the tour kicked off on Saturday evening.
Williams and Capitos said both groups take two wards and travel up and down the streets, giving treats to kids. They said while the fire department tries to reach as many children as they can, it’s impossible to get everyone and that some of the streets are too narrow for the fire engines to safely travel down.
This year, the fire department gathered at 4 p.m. to decorate the trucks and to get Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves dressed up and ready to go. The tour kicked off at 5 p.m. and posted updates on the fire department’s Facebook page to let people know their progress.
At around 7 p.m., the tour took a short break to enjoy a warm dinner provided by the Clearfield American Legion and took to the streets again, wrapping up the tour shortly after 9 p.m.
However, Santa was available at the fire department until 10 p.m., for any girls and boys who may have missed Santa during the driving tour.
Williams and Capitos said last year, the department decided to select one house from each of Clearfield Borough’s four wards with the best Christmas decorations. The homeowners received a gift card, complements of the fire department.
This year’s winners were: First Ward, Margaret Krebs; Second Ward, Josh Francisco; Third Ward, Ben and Pam Barnett and Fourth Ward, Lea Patterson.
“We do it for the kids, to see them all smiling,” Capitos said. “They just get so excited to see Santa every year, and I think we have as much fun doing it as the kids do.”