Santa is making those last minute rounds around the area so there will be plenty of opportunity to get any last minute letters and whisper into the ear of the merry ol’ elf.
The area business communities have once again pulled together to bring Santa out and about. Last week had its own special events for children while this weekend provides even more activities to ensure every child the opportunity to get a gift from Santa.
For the 34th year, Santa will be at the Department of Environmental Control (DEC) in Ray Brook on Friday, December 17th from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and it only makes sense that Smokey Bear will be there as well. Don’t try to get Smokey to talk; I’m told he doesn’t give interviews. Elves will be passing out treats. Face painting and cookie decorating is available with a special holiday concert from the Saranac Lake High School Chorus.
The Saranac Lake Youth Center has managed to grab Santa from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Saturday for those last minute photos and wish lists. The bonus for parents is a free gift-wrapping station for any local purchases. I think last year was the first time I ever had gifts wrapped before Christmas Eve.
Then on Sunday, the Lions Club continues its 50-year traditional of a children’s holiday party by sponsoring a free showing of the animated film “Alpha and Omega” (rated PG) at the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid. There is a chance to meet Santa while the Lions Club members pass out goodie bags (an extensive fruit and chocolate extravaganza) after the show. The event takes place December 19 at 1:00 p.m. Fifty years ago Santa would arrive by plane and land on Mirror Lake for a small outdoor children’s skating party. Due to weather the event moved indoors and now provides a free afternoon for all.
The Palace Theatre in Lake Placid has co-sponsored this event for over 50 years. Palace Theatre owner Barbara Clark says, “In conjunction with the Lions club, the Palace Theatre provides the special movie along with free popcorn. The object is to allow as many children and their families to enjoy this free event. One year we had such a great turn-out that we provided a second showing of the featured movie”
As a volunteer driven, nonprofit organization, the Lions Club focuses on local people improving their community. Originating in 1917 in Chicago by Melvin Jones, the service organization rapidly expanded internationally. It was in 1925 when Helen Keller asked the Lions to be “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness” that the organization made aiding the visually impaired its priority.