Santa Claus has officially come to town.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus rode into Cooperstown in a horse-drawn wagon on Nov. 29. Joining them on the wagon were a number of local children, and the Clauses were escorted by the Cooperstown Fire Department.
They arrived at the Pioneer Park around 5:30 p.m., and were greeted by hundreds of people, including Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, who introduced them.
“We love being back in Cooperstown, the greatest Christmas village in the world, full of wonderful boys and girls,” said Santa, addressing the crowd.
Santa and Mrs. Claus then commanded, “Let the tree be lit.”
Unfortunately, technical difficulties prevented the giant Christmas tree in Pioneer Park from lighting up, despite a hearty chant of “light the tree” from those assembled.
Still, this hold up did little to blunt the festive mood.
The Clauses then made their way to the Christmas Cottage in Pioneer Park, where children and their families lined up to meet them. For some families this was truly a generational experience.
“I’ve been doing this since I was a kid,” said Mindy Cerul, after taking her four children, Aiden, Taya, Matt and Brittany to see the Clauses. “I grew up here and now we come back to visit family and I bring my little ones too cause it’s an awesome tradition.”
“As Mayor, it’s always exciting to be asked to introduce Santa,” said Mayor Katz, after the event.
The Clauses time in Cooperstown is made possible by the Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee, also known as Team Santa. Every year the committee decorates Cooperstown for the Christmas season. On the day of Santa’s arrival, Team Santa members served hot cider to those waiting and helped Santa see families.
“Because it’s fun,” said Meg Kiernan, when asked why she’s volunteered with Team Santa for decades. “It’s Christmas.”