Santa’s Here: Rain can’t dampen city’s holiday spirit

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Rudolph who? Santa Claus upgrades from reindeer to firetruck in his Friday arrival in Hancock to open the city’s Christmas Walk.

HANCOCK — The slight rainfall did little to dampen the spirits of children waiting excitedly for Santa to arrive.

The city’s annual Christmas Walk began Friday as tradition dictates, with Santa riding through town on a fire truck to light the Christmas tree across from City Hall. The celebration included cookie decorating, card making and of course, a chance to tell Santa your Christmas wish list.

“We always like the Christmas windows, seeing all the lights… and then seeing all the kids is always fun,” said onlooker Alexia Smith. “We’re here to start the tradition of coming up here for Thanksgiving,” said Smith, who was visiting family from Minneapolis.

Once Santa had everyone’s Christmas wishes on his list, dogsled and horse-drawn wagon rides were free to the whole family.

“They love to pet them. A lot of kids have never seen a horse before… It’s really fun to see the smile on their face,” said Lena Wascher of Dean’s Horse Logging & Rides.

Bonnie and Star, the two Belgian draft horses, didn’t seem to mind all the extra attention. Most days the pair are logging. Giving rides is weekend work.

The snow was long gone by the time the dogsled team arrived, bringing a lot of excited barking. They were quick to improvise, hooking the team to an all-terrain vehicle, so the lack of snow wasn’t an issue.

The sled dogs are often trained using this method, a technique to train two teams at once.

As it turns out, not even cold rain can stop some classic Christmas fun.