When Santa can’t use his sleigh, he turns to local heroes for help.
Many of the area’s fire companies will give up a seat on their engines and trucks for Santa as they take him on a tour of their service areas. While safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 mean some of the fire companies have scaled back or altered their events this year, children across the region still will get to see and wave to Santa.
Here’s what a few local fire companies have planned as they look to spread joy and continue tradition in what has been a trying year for many.
Jessup Hose Company 2
For 56 years, Santa has toured Jessup and handed out gifts made possible by donations. He will not stop for pictures or in-home visits this year, however, because of the pandemic.
When: Friday, Dec. 18, 5 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 19, 3 p.m.
Where: On Friday, Santa departs the fire station at 333 Hill St. and tours the borough’s uptown area south of Lane and Erie streets. On Saturday, he will visit downtown Jessup and the Winton section.
Details: jessupno2.com or 570-489-1141
Dickson City Fire Department
Volunteers have been busy helping prepare gifts for Santa’s annual trek around the borough. Fire department members will take precautions against the coronavirus and request that the community does as well. Residents should listen for sirens to know when Santa is near.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, noon
Where: Dickson City
Details: dcfd23.com or 570-383-0923
Chinchilla Hose Company of South Abington Twp.
Santa will board one of the fire trucks to visit kids throughout the township.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m.
Where: South Abington Twp.; route to be determined
Details: Visit the Facebook event page or call 570-586-5726.
Clarks Summit Fire Company
Ladder 4 will escort Santa on his annual tour of Clarks Summit. Because of the pandemic, he will not make designated stops or hand out candy as he has in the past. The fire company has added streets to the route so more kids can see him wave from the fire truck.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 4 to 9 p.m. (rain date, Sunday, Dec. 20)
Where: Clarks Summit; route to be announced
Details: Visit the Facebook event page or call 570-586-9656.
Mayfield, Whitmore and William Walker hose companies
Volunteers from the three fire companies will join Santa and Mrs. Claus on their journey around the borough.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m. (rain date, Dec. 20)
Where: Mayfield; tour begins on borough’s west side
Newton Ransom Volunteer Fire Company
Residents can line Newton Ransom Boulevard to watch Santa and Mrs. Claus as they travel by fire truck. The fire company requests that guests socially distance themselves while there and follow other pandemic guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m.
Where: Departs Abington Heights Middle School, 1555 Newton Ransom Blvd., Newton Twp., toward Main Street in Ransom Twp. and then back up the boulevard to the fire company, 1890 Newton Ransom Blvd., Newton Twp.
Details: Visit the fire company’s Facebook page or call 570-587-2526.
Eynon-Sturges Volunteer Hose Company
Mrs. Claus will join Santa for this excursion aboard Engine 33. The fire company suggests watching for the engine’s lights and listening for the sirens to find out exactly when it will arrive on a particular street.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 5 p.m.
Where: Archbald’s Eynon and Sturges neighborhoods
Details: Visit the fire company’s Facebook page or call 570-876-0247.
Blakely Hose Company 2
The fire department looks to spread holiday cheer in this difficult year with the help of Santa. Fire company members will wear masks and gloves as they hand out candy, and they ask residents to follow social distancing guidelines, which includes not congregating in large groups, because of the pandemic.
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, approximately 6 p.m.
Details: Visit the fire company’s Facebook page or call 570-383-0630.
Justus Volunteer Fire Company
The fire company will once again take Santa on his tour, but he won’t hand out gifts this year because of pandemic restrictions. Residents should wear masks and socially distance themselves from others by at least 6 feet.
When: Afternoon and evening of Saturday, Dec. 19; exact times to be determined
Where: North Abington Twp. and the Justus section of Scott Twp.
Details: Visit the fire company’s Facebook page or call 570-587-4545.
Eagle McClure Hose Company
In place of its annual Santa Run, the fire company will host Santa in its hall, where children can get a special treat from him. He will still arrive on the fire truck, though.
When: Sunday, Dec. 20, 1 to 4 p.m. (Santa arrives at 12:55 p.m.)
Where: 375 Milwaukee Ave., Old Forge
Details: Admission is free. Visit the Facebook event page or call 570-457-5379 for more information.
Spring Brook Twp. Volunteer Fire Company
Instead of riding the fire truck, Santa will meet and greet kids in the fire company’s parking lot during this free drive-through event.
When: Sunday, Dec. 20, 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: 20 Route 690, Spring Brook Twp.
Details: Visit the Facebook event page or call 570-842-2311.
Scott Twp. Hose Company
Township residents can drop off gifts for Santa to bring to their homes at the fire station, 1027 Montdale Road, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Gifts should include the recipient’s name and address clearly marked on them. Because of the pandemic, Santa will not take photos with people and will leave gifts on the home’s front porch or by its front door. Residents will be able to take photos with Santa from a distance, however.
When: Friday, Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19, approximately 4:30 p.m.
Where: Friday: Montdale, Koehler Hill, Tompkinsville, Taylor, Hopfer, Joe Lick, Kraky, Boyarsky, Shields, Wemberly Hills and Green Grove roads; Commerce Drive; and Lakelake Drive to Montdale Road; Saturday: Chapman Lake, Kapinus, Carey, Herbert, Country Club, Rushbrook, Heart Lake, Jermyn Farm, Greenfield and Virbitsky roads; Andrew, Lakeland and School Side drives; and Steins Grove.
Details: Visit the fire company’s Facebook page or call 570-254-6666.
Taylor Fire Department 1, Ladder Company 95
A tradition since 1970 continues this year as Santa visits every street in Taylor on Christmas Eve on board a truck all lit up for the holiday. The fire company actually sends out two trucks simultaneously so members can get home to their families before 8 p.m., according to member John Tigue. Estimated times of arrival are below, although residents also can listen for the sirens to know when Santa is close.
When/where: Thursday, Dec. 24; 4 to 4:05 p.m.: Union to South Main streets; 4:05 to 4:10: Roosevelt Street; 4:15 to 4:40: Sibley Avenue and area of Hospital, Center and Rosedale streets; 4:20 to 4:30: north side of Church Street, North Washington Street and North Ridge Street area; 4:30 to 4:35: North Main Street; 4:30 to 4:35: Amhurst Circle; 4:35 to 5:30: Taylor Hill area (Reynolds and Loomis avenues); 4:40 to 4:45: Sibley and Keyser avenues; 4:45-5:20: east section of Greenview area; 5:20 to 5:25: Keyser Avenue and Union Street; 5:25 to 5:45: east side of Main Street; 5:30 to 5:45: Rockledge Terrace; 5:45 to 6:15 p.m.: Oak Street and Maple Manor; 5:50 to 7: west side of Main Street plus Davis, West Atherton, Powell, Jefferson, Lincoln, Harrison, Storrs, Washington, South Ridge, South Pond, West Taylor and West Grove streets; 6:15 to 6:25: El Drive and Billy Lane; and 6:25 to 6:45, west part of Greenview area and Prince Street.
Details: Visit the fire company’s Facebook page or call 570-562-0210.
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest