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Santa kicks off holiday season with arrival in DeKalb

Category: Community News,
on 12/04/2015


Santa kicks off holiday season with arrival in DeKalb
Santa kicks off holiday season with arrival in DeKalb
Published: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 12:00 a.m. CST
By BRITTANY KEEPERMAN - bkeeperman@shawmedia.com
DeKALB – Brea Evans was excited to meet Santa on Thursday, and she didn’t have to travel far from her DeKalb home to do so. 
“I’m most excited about my presents,” 6-year-old Evans said. “I’m wishing for a Cayla doll and a science set.” 
Evans was joined by her mom, Robin Holmes, to carry on the family tradition, which is entering its third year.
“The guys love to see Santa,” Holmes said. “The wait, the whole impatient jumping up and down in the cold – it’s all worth it.”
Santa arrived on his decorated snowplow Thursday to greet the many excited families who had gathered downtown for the annual holiday event. The DeKalb High School Madrigals performed at the Egyptian Theatre before Santa’s arrival, bringing songs of the season to the evening. 
The annual event traditionally is held at the Egyptian Theatre and put on by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and the city. Alex Nerad, executive director of the theater, said its a good way to show off the theater, and it’s another event to add to the long list of holiday happenings. 
“Being in the heart of downtown, it’s a perfect event for us to open our doors and invite people in,” Nerad said. “The madrigals from DeKalb High School always sounds amazing in the lobby, and it’s a lot of fun to host.” 
Jennifer Newhouse brought her three children to the event to kick off the holiday season. The family lives in Cortland, which hosts a breakfast with Santa that she said they also may attend. 
“It’s really exciting for them to see Santa coming into town,” Newhouse said. “We do every possible tradition we can.” 
DeKalb’s holiday traditions are one thing that make the city unique, said Matt Duffy, executive director of DeKalb’s Chamber of Commerce. 
“Any time you can get the community together and get the kids excited for the holidays, it brings a sense of community,” he said. “Having traditions like this is key.” 
Duffy said in other areas, families may go to shopping centers to visit Santa, but it’s not quite the same as having a downtown arrival and Santa house, which draw families through the generations. 
“You don’t see this in all towns,” he said. “It’s been a longtime tradition, and you see kids and grandkids and people who have been coming since they were kids, and now they bring their kids to this, which is great.” 
Santa will be in his DeKalb home in Van Buer Plaza, at the corner of Second and Locust streets downtown, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through Dec. 19
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