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Santa Claus' early flight

Jolly old elf helicopters to Williamsport

Jolly old elf helicopters to Williamsport

December 08, 2005|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WILLIAMSPORT

erinc@herald-mail.com

Pam Black rubbed her gloved hands together near a small fire in a barrel Wednesday evening trying to stay warm. As she looked to her left, she saw Santa Claus get out of a small helicopter and walk toward her.

Santa was invited to a field beside Black's home, where he waited to greet children. Black said anyone is welcome to visit her home at 15942 Spielman Road today and Saturday to visit with Santa.

During the first two days of the event Tuesday and Wednesday, Black said only a few children stopped to see Santa.

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"We're here," she said. "We want them to stop by. It's fun."

After Black bought a large wooden wagon, which now sits in the field with the helicopter, she thought it would be nice to have children come to see Santa.

"Not too many have a helicopter in their yard," Black said. "I thought it would be something different."

A friend, George Hammond of Williamsport, owned the helicopter, which he said would make a nice addition to her Christmas event. Both the helicopter and wagon are decorated with lights, and the wagon is hitched to two wooden reindeer.

Children who come to Black's home can have their picture taken with Santa. If they do not have a camera, Black said she purchased film and has a Polaroid camera. The pictures and the event are free, she said.

Gary Grimes of Williamsport volunteered to be Santa and was dressed in a red felt suit Wednesday, waving to passing cars. He said the children who came to the event enjoyed seeing him sitting in the helicopter. Hammond said it was a bit of a struggle to get Grimes into the small cockpit.

"Anything for the children," Grimes said.

On Saturday, Black said she will allow children to ride two or three of her horses while they visit with Santa.

Santa will be outside Black's home today from 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday at 11 a.m.

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