ARIZONA CITY — It wouldn’t be much of a holiday season in Arizona City if Santa Claus didn’t stop by to check in on all the boys and girls to make sure they’ve been good during this pandemic.
As always Santa made the trip via helicopter with Mrs. Claus, as he likes to make sure his reindeer are well rested before their busy night on Christmas Eve.
The Clauses had help from their friends at the Arizona City Fire District to ensure that social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols were in place.
Unfortunately, Santa and Mrs. Claus were not available for hugs or handshakes because they did not want to risk catching the virus and then returning to the North Pole and also getting the reindeer or elves sick before Christmas.
Face coverings were required, hand sanitizer was made available and Santa’s sleigh was disinfected often.
Families still managed to get their picture taken and kids were able to give Santa their wish list. Kids also received goodie bags and candy canes courtesy of the fire district and the Arizona City Fire District Association.
While many of the fire district’s annual events were canceled this year or turned into drive-thru events, the district and association wanted to provide as much normalcy during the holiday season as possible.
“I’m thrilled (about this),” said Fire Chief Jeff Heaton. “COVID has been such a challenge, especially on the youth, and most of these kids are home-schooled and they just need an event to go to so we’re excited to be able to have this. We had to put the plexiglass up and maintain protocols but we’re excited, very excited.”