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Swapping his sleigh for a fire truck, Santa Claus is coming to town Saturday, Dec. 5

BUCKHANNON – Have you heard? Santa Claus is coming through town!

Bundle up, kids, parents and anyone who’s a fan of the jolliest, white-bearded gentleman around because beginning at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5, the Buckhannon Fire Department will be escorting Santa Claus through city limits so he can greet as many of his fans as possible – old and young alike.

City of Buckhannon Information Coordinator Callie Cronin Sams on Friday sent out a reminder that Santa will be riding on a Buckhannon fire truck through town from about noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

“Remember to wave to Santa tomorrow, Saturday, as he makes his way through Buckhannon on the Buckhannon Fire Truck! The Buckhannon Fire Department will be escorting Santa in one of their trucks around the City. Ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas!” Sams wrote in the release.

At Buckhannon City Council’s meeting Thursday evening, Buckhannon Fire Chief J.B. Kimble asked families to be patient as Santa’s entourage winds its way through city streets, beginning in Riley Heights at noon Saturday.

Organized largely by Buckhannon career firefighter John Brugnoli and Kimble, the idea to transport Santa Claus through town was a physically distant, safer alternative to the Buckhannon Fire Department’s signature Friday-evening Christmas parade, which isn’t feasible this year due to COVID-19 protocols and limits on gathering sizes.

“I want people to understand this is new to us,” Kimble remarked at council’s Dec. 3 meeting. “Please bear with us, as we can’t get to every little street and corner. We’re just trying to start small and if it goes well, before Christmas we may try to look at getting Santa back for another visit to maybe expand out a little bit if possible – if Santa’s not too busy, that is.”

The route is on the Buckhannon Fire Department’s Facebook page in addition to being included below.

The Buckhannon Fire Department’s Santa Route Map

Kimble laid out the general trajectory at Thursday’s meeting.

“[Santa’s tour] will start at Riley Heights at noon on Saturday and then travel through the western part of town from 12 to 12:30 p.m. and then up through the Victoria Hill/Academy Street and the southwest part of town for a half-an-hour and then the Wood Street area through Camden Avenue and then eventually over by the college and North Buckhannon,” Kimble said. “Then, we’ll hit Upper and Lower drives finishing out at about 2 o’clock.”

Kimble encouraged everyone – no matter their age – to show up to greet Santa.

“Hopefully, kids and parents will get out and line the streets and wave to Santa as he goes by. It’s new, and we really wanted to bring Santa to our community with all the crazy stuff that’s going on, so hopefully, everybody will get out and wave to Santa,” the fire chief said.

City recorder Randy Sanders thanked Kimble and Brugnoli for coordinating Santa’s tour throughout the municipality. Kimble added that if any kids want to drop letters to Santa off at the Buckhannon Fire Department in the Public Safety Complex on Florida Street, firefighters will ensure they reach Santa Claus in the North Pole.

Here’s a breakdown of Santa’s route provided by the fire department:

Saturday, December 5, 2020 Santa Route

Start time is noon.

  • 12 p.m. – W Main St @ Riley Heights – Franklin St – Meadow St – W Lincoln – Lincoln Heights – Lincoln Way – Boggess St – Highland – Willow Brook St – Gum St – Park St
  • 12:30 p.m. – W Victoria St – Academy St – Ambrose St – Cardinal St – Shawnee Dr – Moore Ave – Wood St – Hinkle Dr
  • 1 p.m. — Wood St – Randolph St – Camden Ave – Pocahontas St – Barbour St – Fayette St – College Ave – Lumber St – Factory St
  • 1:30 p.m. — E Main St – Sedgewick St – Kanawha St – N Spring St – N Florida St – Cleveland Ave — Fifth St – Morton Ave – First St – Island Ave – Upper Dr – Lower Dr

In non-North-Pole related news, Kimble reported the BFD has documented about 100 responses per month, down about 7-8 percent due to not responding to non-emergency situations to protect themselves from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.

Kimble said he expects some members of the Buckhannon Fire Department will receive COVID-19 vaccines within the next week-and-a-half or so through the State of West Virginia and the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department.

“I have sent out a roster for those who would like to receive it,” the fire chief told council. “It’s been a positive response overall [to the vaccine],” Kimble said. “Some people have questions, of course, and that’s natural because it’s something new, but the majority of the members of our organization are willing to get it.”

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