Santa Visits Salem
Whitney M. Woodworth | Statesman Journal 7:20 p.m. PT Dec. 17, 2016
Santa [Father Yule John Rakestraw] braved the frosty weather and icy streets and made a pit stop Saturday in Salem by [the] CCTV studios to meet and chat with visitors on live TV.
Children were able to ask Santa questions, request present and snag a few candy canes in a makeshift living room — complete with a crackling fire, Christmas tree and two helpful “elves.”
During the free event, which has been a community tradition for 24 years, kids were also able to call-in and talk Santa. The program was broadcast on Comcast channel 22 and live streamed for the first time online and on Facebook.
Despite the cold weather, plenty of families came out and visited the warm, pine-scented studio to see Santa.
“We only had a about a dozen last year,” Programming and Promotion Coordinator Kirimi Flitter said. “We’ve already had more in the first few minutes in… [t]his is the fullest it’s ever been.”
Parents waited off-stage as kids took turns visiting Santa. Salem resident Aisha Watkins brought her two daughters Sarah and Lyla, after hearing about the event on social media. They visited last year and stopped by to ask Santa questions about his age (answer: about 1900 years.)
“Wouldn’t you be dead by now?” Sarah asked.
Santa and the parents off-stage chuckled. To celebrate his almost 2,000 years of existence, Sarah, Lyla and the Santa’s Elves sung him “Happy Birthday.” He asked them how their year was and whether they been naughty or nice.
“Well, we’re just kids, we’re not perfect,” Lyla said.
Santa conceded that [he] wasn’t perfect either then asked what was on their Christmas lists.
Some of the gifts requested included a cat, Legos, a trip to France and a iPad. Santa check with their parents to see if the possibility of a kitten, trip or toys was in the cards. After one kid requested a “baby sister,” [her] mother informed Santa they were working on [an] adoption.
Santa wished everyone a good Christmas before sending them off.
While grabbing a candy cane, one child visitor remarked, “You’re a good guy, Santa.”
Santa visits Salem and took time to tell his famous Green Gorilla Joke…
Please read the original article on the Salem Statesman Journal website.