Story and photos by B. Scott Mohr
Santa was the main attraction Saturday at Southern Plaza, where he listened to the secret Christmas wishes of many good little boys and girls.
While Santa didn’t arrive via a horse-drawn sleigh, none of the children were disappointed in his mode of transportation: a vintage, open-air fire truck. He made a couple of circuits around the shopping center before stopping at his temporary home next to Harbor Freight, 4200 S. East St.
But when the jolly gent began to make his second lap, 4-year-old Tristan Phillips teared up as he thought Santa was leaving. But his mom, Katie Olesak, quickly assured him and 6-year-old daughter Pilar Phillips that Santa was coming back.
Derek, 6, and Hailey Jones, 3, the children of Kellie and Ryan Jones, were also there to see the bearded guy. Hailey had the darnedest time trying to remember what she wanted for Christmas.
One girl asked for a scooter that cost $270, to which Santa remarked, “Are you sure you have been that good?”
While waiting to hop on Santa’s lap, the children were entertained by the H gauge model train sets that buzz around railroad tracks in his home away from home. The display features “snow-covered” mountains, trees, tunnels and villages.
Santa’s house has been tastefully decorated by Brittany Truran, Ashley Dilk and Esabella Truran.
In addition to Santa being at Southern Plaza from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 21, Qdoba Mexican Grill will host a breakfast with the bearded fellow from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.