Santa Visits Keizer For Candy Cane Day
Snow, freezing rain, ordinary rain and just plain cold temperatures slowed Santa and members of the Keizer Fire District but couldn’t keep him from visiting the streets of Keizer on Saturday, December 20, 2008.
Keizer Fire District firefighters started the day by chaining up the District vehicles so Santa could begin traveling the streets for the 47th year greeting Keizer residents and handing out candy canes. As streets thawed chains were removed to prevent damage to chains, trucks and streets. It seemed the equipment no sooner got back on the streets when the weather took another turn for the worse and it started to snow and streets became icy. The trucks had to once again leave their routes to chain up again for safety.
Ron Raleigh, Chair of this year’s event, said that Santa and fifty Volunteer Firefighters and seven pieces of District apparatus made a “valiant effort” to once again visit most of the streets in Keizer during the day. Raleigh said that they could not get to two small areas of the District before darkness and safety concerns forced them to quit their rounds shortly before 7:00 pm. Raleigh said that usually crews can complete their rounds by about 4:00 in the afternoon. The slick streets and the fact that Santa was going to the front door of many homes, because children couldn’t safely come to the street, slowed everyone down in making their rounds.
A check of dispatch records also showed that District crews had to temporarily leave their routes to answer seven calls for emergency medical services.
Raleigh said Santa handed out more than 5,000 candy canes during the day and posed for many pictures with area residents.
Santa told District officials before returning to the North Pole to complete final preparations for his rounds on Christmas Eve that he was looking forward to visiting Keizer for the 48th time next year for Candy Cane Day.