Highlands Fire Chief Dean Ford was out in full firefighting regalia last Saturday afternoon as part of the department’s 34th annual Santa Run.
The event involved firefighters taking Santa out to visit as many streets as possible in the District of Highlands.
And, while Santa greeted children and adults alike, handing out treats as he went, the firefighters were busy picking up donations for the Goldstream Food Bank.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get out there and meet the community and help out the food bank at the same time. All the firefighters out here today are volunteers and they are such a great group of people. I’m constantly amazed at their dedication,” Ford said. “And, of course, Santa is Santa. Always willing to help out.”
The event was no small feat and the community is served by 37 members of the wholly volunteer force. “It’s a lot of work, but the results make it all worthwhile.”
But if you’re not a Highlands resident, don’t worry, Santa will be out in your West Shore neighbourhood in the coming weeks.
This Saturday, Dec. 16, Santa will be making the rounds in View Royal Fire Rescue’s Charitable Food Drive. Santa will be riding through the streets on a fire truck from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., stopping to greet residents, take photos and collect charitable donations or non-perishable food items for the food bank.
If you miss Santa or are out and about, you can also drop off donations at the fire hall, 333 Island Hwy., and enjoy a cup of cocoa while you’re there.
Santa has a busy weekend before the big night. This Sunday, he’ll also be making appearances with both the Metchosin and Colwood departments.
Metchosin Fire Rescue is hosting a special breakfast at the hall, 4440 Happy Valley Rd., with pancakes, sausages, hot chocolate and more. There’s also lots of crafts and activities for the kids and of course, photos with Santa himself.
This is a free, drop-in event, taking place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. For more information, phone the hall at 250-478-1307.
With a little magic of the season, Santa will hit the road on Sunday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with Colwood Fire Rescue, handing out candy canes to all of the children he meets. There’s no set times for which neighbourhoods Santa will be in, so listen for the fire truck sirens and when you do hear them, head to the nearest main road.
Firefighters from both of these departments will also be collecting donations on behalf of the Goldstream Food Bank.
Finally, the man in the red suit will be hitting the streets of Langford on Christmas Eve.
“It’s become so ingrained in the Langford culture,” said Fire Chief Chris Aubrey, adding residents from other municipalities will come visit family in Langford on Christmas Eve because of it.
“It’s become their family’s tradition,” he said. “It’s a wonderful night. … I’ve even had my kids on the truck when they were younger.”
Crews will be escorting Santa on three different routes, starting at about 5:30 p.m. and finishing at roughly 8:30. Watch Langford Fire Rescue on social media prior to the event for more details on Santa’s whereabouts.