Santa, baby!

Photo by Lania Rocha

Photo by Lania Rocha

Riding a makeshift sleigh, complete with wooden reindeer and strands of multicolored twinkle lights, Santa Claus made his way to Swartz Creek and Clayton Township on Saturday and Sunday. The Swartz Creek Area Firefighters teamed up with the Gaines Township Fire Department and put together a procession of some 15 vehicles, including fire apparatus and personal pickup trucks all decked out in holiday decorations, and took to the streets. The firefighters have hosted a Santa parade for 35 consecutive years in downtown Swartz Creek, but this year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of the traditional parade and threatened to put a halt to the festivities. However, parade Co-Chairmen Lt. Robert Fitzpatrick and Lt. Greg Warning were determined that the event continue for its 36th year, and they came up with the idea that if the community could not come out for the parade, they would take the parade to the community. Santa and his team made their way through the neighborhoods to delight the local youngsters, spread some holiday cheer and share the magic of the season.