Stillwater’s bravest escort Santa to tree lighting

Stillwater. The annual tradition continues, with some extra lights and sirens, despite Covid.

07 Dec 2020 | 03:54

On Saturday night, the annual Paulinskill Lake tree lighting went on as usual despite COVID-19. Staged by Kim and Dave Williams, the event included some great hot chocolate, singing and a special guest as Santa himself arrived escorted by the Stillwater Area Fire Department

The Williams head up the lake’s entertainment and have kept events and music going this year with social distancing and masking.

“We’re excited that this event could still be held this year and we have a very special guest,” Kim Williams welcomed the gathering of masked part-takers.

There were Santa hats for the kids and a roaring bonfire to keep folks warm

Paulinskill Lake Association president, Scott Douglass, echoed Williams’ sentiments.

“It’s great to see people out for this event even under the circumstances.”

Santa arrived with all due pomp and circumstance as a firetruck suddenly lit up across the lake, sirens and horns started blasting and an escort drove the ‘man of the hour’ over to the gathering.

“I couldn’t believe the looks in the kids eyes,” Williams said. “They were so amazed and happy.”

Despite their masks, the glow on their faces could not be hidden.

Santa proceeded to disembark from the fire truck and, at distance with masks, greet children and ask them what they wanted for Christmas.

The Stillwater Area Fire Department will continue what has become a beloved tradition of delivering toys to children with Santa and the fire truck with Operation Santa 2020 this Saturday (December 12th). Those wishing a visit from Santa drop toys at the department prior with their address and child’s name and then Santa comes via fire truck, sirens sounding, and delivers the toys. This year, things will be a little different, and the department will keep six feet apart from all.

“This year, Santa has to be extra healthy: no hugs no lap pictures,” the department posted.

They will, however, allow socially distant photos with Santa if families want to snap them.

“I couldn’t believe the looks in the kids eyes. They were so amazed and happy.” Kim Williams