Santa and Christmas activities have been held on the Circle longer than anyone can remember. Santa said he’s been providing a lap for children for at least 33 years, but the tradition has been going on longer than that.
Longtime resident Dick Bergen said he recalls Santa being on the Circle 44 years ago, even before the Gazebo was built.
Nevertheless, Patti Bradley, special event organizer for the Rec Department, outdid herself on Saturday, Dec. 6 when the City hosted its annual Santa on the Circle event. A frazzled Bradley never stopped, trying to make sure everything happened and ran as smoothly as possible while solving immediate, yet relatively minor, problems. Bradley seemed to be everywhere all at once.
“I’ve been doing this about 28 years,” Bradley said before darting away to check on something.
One tiny glitch was the success of the event. Required ID bracelets sold in advance that allowed local children to participate in the rides and activities had sold out. Naturally, there were a few disappointed children and parents.
Nevertheless, Santa said he felt that about a million children had sat on his lap and he had only one “accident” this year. His closest friend, Terry Parke, said, “I wouldn’t miss this for anything in the world.”
Recreation Director Omar Luna said, “This event gets better every year. We always ask for more from Patti and she always steps up to the plate. I have full confidence in her and she always gets it done.”