http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2007/12/07/better-late-than-never-santa-pedals-in-to-kids-delight


Mountain View Voice

News - December 7, 2007

Better late than never, Santa pedals in to kids' delight

City's annual tree lighting ceremony goes off with an endearing hitch or two

by Alexa Tondreau

Several hundred people, most of them young children, gathered in Mountain View's Civic Center Plaza on Monday night, waiting for the imminent arrival of the one and only Santa Claus.

At 6 p.m., amid the hum of murmuring voices and babies crying, the distinct sound of jingling bells and whooshing wind came over the plaza. Mayor Laura Macias, who officiated the evening's event, yelled out, "Sounds like Santa Claus is here!"

At that, every child in the plaza went crazy with excitement. And then ... nothing, for a minute or so. Necks craned, everyone looked frantically for the jolly old man with a long white beard. Many of the children's heads were tilted up towards the sky.

All were surprised, therefore, when suddenly through the audience Santa Claus came zooming toward the stage marked "The North Pole" on his bicycle.

"Santa's on a bicycle because that's better for the environment," said Macias, to the cheers of the audience.

While Mountain View's annual tree lighting ceremony delivered on its holiday tradition of good cheer and community togetherness, this year the event plugged a "greener" Christmas, what with the zero carbon emissions of Santa's mode of transportation, and the biodegradable Christmas tree ornaments that a local troop of girl scouts were selling throughout the crowd.

The event continued with the tree lighting, complete with a 10-second countdown and a tree that didn't quite get itself in sync with the countdown, lighting up five seconds or so too late.

"I guess it must have been on a timer," Macias told the audience with a laugh.

A group of local elementary students got up on stage for a round of holiday carols while many in the audience headed towards the Center for Performing Arts, where kids and parents participated in one more essential holiday tradition: waiting in line to take a picture with Santa.

E-mail Alexa Tondreau at atondreau@mv-voice.com

Comments

Posted by Michael Farren, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 6, 2007 at 8:15 pm

While Christmas is increasingly commercial, I doubt that Santa "peddled" in. Pedaled, yes.


Posted by Andrew, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 7, 2007 at 10:06 am

I didn't realize reindeer sleighs were so awful for the environment.

How come Santa wasn't wearing a helmet?


Posted by registered user, Don Frances, a resident of Mountain View Voice Editor
on Dec 7, 2007 at 10:53 am

Ooops -- "pedals" in. Thanks for catching that Michael. I'll at least fix the online version.