Mayor, Santa set to share traditional fire truck ride

By Kevin Wick

Every year at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of December, Santa arrives in DeKalb on a fire truck along with the mayor.

On Dec. 2, Santa, along with DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow, will ride through downtown DeKalb near the Egyptian Theatre until they reach Palmer Court – the site of Santa’s DeKalb house.

“The most popular event is definitely when Santa comes to town,” Sparrow said.

After Santa arrives, the DeKalb Fire Department will give a speech on holiday safety.

The tradition continues as Santa waves his magic candy cane, marking the opening of the holiday season and all of the Christmas lights turn on, said Jennifer Groce, executive director of Main Street DeKalb.

A high school band will play during this ceremony and children from local schools will decorate the trees – each having its own theme. DeKalb citizens are encouraged to bring ornaments to decorate the trees as well.

While Santa’s journey to town is a popular tradition, it is just one of the many holiday events the community has to offer.

Throughout December, free carriage rides are offered in downtown DeKalb.

The Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., also will hold choir recitals, offering free cookies and hot chocolate.

The Ellwood House and Museum, 509 N. First St., also has its own way of celebrating the holidays, with another long-standing tradition highly popular in DeKalb.

From Dec. 4-5 and 11-12, the house will be decorated in a holiday theme, a tradition that began in 1967.

“Every year, there is an entirely different theme,” said Donna Gable, coordinator of volunteering for visitor services. “This year’s theme is ‘Home For the Holidays.’”

Each room in the house is decorated by a different organization, which gives each room its own unique interpretation of the theme, Gable said.

For more information, call Groce at 748-7788, or the Ellwood House at 756-4609.