DeKalb set to host Santa in downtown tonight

By Samantha Brockett

Santa Claus is coming to town during a public meet and greet downtown today.

Re:New DeKalb is hosting their annual holiday event at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., today. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with cookies, cocoa and caroling performed by the DeKalb High School Madrigals.

At 7 p.m., Santa will arrive in a giant orange snow plow outside of the theatre and then walk to his house on the corner of Second and Locust streets to meet and greet with children. Santa will also be at the corner every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in December.

DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen will be participating in the event and said he hopes to help Mr. Claus feel right at home.

“I will be in the car behind Santa and wave to the children,” Povlsen said. “I will then walk with Santa to his house and welcome him and the crowd on the steps of his home.”

Lindsey Engelsman, marketing director of Re:New DeKalb, said the event is tied in with other holiday events happening in downtown DeKalb.

“Santa comes to town is part of Downtown DeKalb’s Hollydays which is a six-week long celebration during the holidays that started the weekend before thanksgiving,” Engelsman said.

Other events being held during Hollydays are visits with Santa every Saturday in the Van Buer Plaza and complimentary horse drawn carriage rides every Saturday, which start at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St.

Brendon Gallagher, DeKalb 4th ward alderman, thinks the event will have a positive impact on the city during the holiday season.

“It helps spread Christmas cheer,” Gallagher said. “It’s always a good thing when Santa comes to town.”

Povlsen said the joy that the children experience is his favorite part of this event every year.

“Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children as they see and greet Santa makes it all worth it,” Povlsen said.