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Santa speaks: Santa talks Christmas Walk, Christmas Eve plans

Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette Santa Claus at 2019’s tree lighting in Hancock. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Santa will instead tour the city on top of a fire truck.

Editor’s note: The following story features a fictional interview with Santa Claus.

Visiting all the homes in the world in one night is a dangerous thing to do in 2020, but Santa Claus is doing his best to be careful as he’s preparing for Christmas Eve this year.

On Friday, he will be making his usual stop in Hancock, but it won’t be the usual event.

“But I’m still going to be here,” Santa said with a chuckle. “And I’ll be waving to you!”

Instead of the usual gathering downtown with music and the tree lighting, Santa Claus will be touring Hancock on the back of a firetruck.

City of Hancock A map of Hancock with approximate times for Santa’s appearance.

“I’m giving the reindeer a rest at home,” Santa said.

He said the reindeer need regular rest before their big night, and he doesn’t want to risk them getting hurt or sick before then. Santa thanked the firemen for their willingness to share their truck, but said he’ll be happy to get into his own, specially-made sleigh come Christmas.

He will have some elves with him handing out treat bags to safely-distanced kids. The bags were packed days in advance and the elves will be wearing masks and gloves, for safety’s sake.

On Christmas night, Santa said he plans to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer after visiting each house so that he does not catch or spread COVID-19.

“The doctor said that will keep me safe,” he said.

Back at the North Pole workshop, Santa said that the elves were able to expand some of their workspaces to be “socially distanced” and catch up on making toys.

“The elves are working so hard, they’re getting everything done,” Santa said. “But they love their work, it makes them so happy.”

Santa’s Hancock tour will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. He will tour different sections of the city with a police escort according to times available on a map on cityofhancock.com. There will also be a streaming video event on the city of Hancock Facebook page beginning at 5:50 p.m.

Santa won’t be able to talk to each kid about what they want for Christmas like he has in the past, but he still wants to hear from each child. He’s encouraging people to send him their letters. 

“It’s still Christmas, but let’s do what we can do, and be safe,” said Shelley Lucchesi, one of the event organizers.

The city of Hancock and the Daily Mining Gazette are both working with Santa to forward letters. Handwritten letters can be dropped in the mailbox by Memorial Park, across the street from Hancock City Hall on Quincy Street, or dropped off in the mail slot at the Gazette’s front door, 206 Shelden Avenue in Houghton. They can also be mailed to the Gazette at P.O. Box 368, Houghton, MI, 49931, care of Editorial Clerk, or emailed to the editorial clerk at clerk@mininggazette.com.

The letters will be published near Christmas in a special “Letters to Santa” section.

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