Santa will be stopping in Juneau at least twice this year before Christmas morning, according to one chatty elf.
Capital City Fire and Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge confirmed the swirling rumors Thursday that Kris Kringle himself will be in town to participate in the “Santa on the Fire Truck” event to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16.
Santa will make rounds throughout Juneau and Douglas with CCFR crews, handing out candy canes to all the children who have been nice this year. Firefighters will help pass out sweets, since the elves are still making toys at the North Pole.
The route with Santa aboard will begin at the tram, then proceed up Franklin Street to Fourth Street, along Calhoun Avenue, down 12th Street to Glacier Avenue up Highlands Drive along Behrends Avenue, looping back to Glacier Avenue.
At approximately 7:45 p.m., Santa and the fire truck will continue across Douglas Bridge up Cordova Street to Foster Avenue around the loop at Cedar Park, back down Cordova Street continuing to Douglas. Santa will arrive in Douglas, and continue down Second Street, to St. Ann’s Avenue, looping back towards the middle of town on Fifth Street at approximately 8:30 p.m.
But, wait, the elfin source exclaimed — Santa will be returning just two days later on Dec. 18, to spread Christmas cheer at the Auke Bay Fire Station. Etheridge will also be reading Christmas stories to all the girls and boys who attend. The open house at the fire station, located at 11900 Glacier Highway, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.
“It’s a fun time, and it’s a family kind of event where people can go out and see Santa Claus,” Etheridge said.
And just about an hour and a half after that, Santa Claus will embark on a second ride-along with CCFR. Santa will be on board an Auke Bay-area fire department truck greeting children and spreading Christmas joy beginning at 4:30. That route will begin at the Auke Bay fire station, and will proceed down the back loop road to Lake Shore Drive, Steelhead and Silver streets, Wren Drive, and on to the Montana Creek subdivisions. The truck will then return to back loop road, stopping at the All Season subdivision.
The elf source made sure to pass on one specific jolly message from Father Christmas before hanging up the phone: “Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas to all!” he said.