LaPorte's Christmas season officially begins: Santa is in the house

Santa waves from his perch atop a LaPorte Fire Department engine. Photo by Mike Kellens

Santa waves from his perch atop a LaPorte Fire Department engine. Photo by Mike Kellems

Photos by Mike Kellems and Kathy Bernel

(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

Decades after the tradition began, the celebratory arrival of Santa to LaPorte is more popular than ever. Santa, Mrs. Claus and other festive figures paraded down part of Lincolnway on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, with the Clauses and Mayor Blair Milo arriving atop a gleaming LaPorte Fire Department rig. Then Santa took up residence at the familiar Santa’s Chalet next to the historic LaPorte depot.

A day that provided nippy temps and a few snowflakes in the air added to the holiday effect as families enjoyed the parade, treats, Santa’s Village vendors, a free showing of “Prancer,” a tree lighting, and more.

If someone in your family would like to visit Santa before Christmas, he will be in his LaPorte Chalet every Saturday prior to Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free rides on a kid-sized train will also be offered at the depot site.

Here are some fun scenes from the festive day!

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"If it wasn't freezing, you'd think this was the Fourth of July Parade!" photographer Mike Kellems reported.

Santa greets excited kids (and parents!) near his chalet.

Santa greets excited kids (and parents!) near his chalet. Photo by Mike Kellems

Equestrians wait to join the parade line

A few of LaPorte’s handsome houses provide a backdrop for horses and riders waiting to join the parade route on Lincolnway near Dairy Queen. Photo by Kathy Bernel

Mrs. Claus, Santa and Mayor Blair Milo cruise into town atop a LaPorte Fire Department engine. Photo by Mike Kellems

Mrs. Claus, Santa and Mayor Blair Milo cruise into town atop a LaPorte Fire Department engine. Photo by Mike Kellems

Kids and parents form a long line to talk to Santa personally at the Chalet. Photo by Mike Kellems

Kids and parents form a long line to talk to Santa personally at the Chalet. Photo by Mike Kellems

Frank and Mary VanSchoyck, dressed in holiday apparel for the day, stopped for a quick coffee at Louie's before Santa's arrival. LaPorte businesses welcomed paradegoers with decorated windows and gift ideas. Photo by Kathy Bernel

Frank and Mary VanSchoyck, dressed in holiday apparel for the day, stopped for a quick coffee at Louie's before Santa's arrival. LaPorte businesses welcomed paradegoers with decorated windows and gift ideas. Photo by Kathy Bernel

The giant Santa, a LaPorte icon for about a half a century, waves to passers-by from the courthouse lawn. Photo by Mike Kellems

The giant Santa, a LaPorte icon for nearly a half a century, waves to passers-by from the courthouse lawn. Photo by Mike Kellems

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