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|Santa Safe After Rescue; Weather Cooperates for Annual Galesburg Holiday Parade -- SEE STORY AND PHOTOS HERE
|An official with the Galesburg Fire Department believes he knows the reason Santa Claus was thrown off course and wound up stuck on the roof of a business before the annual Galesburg Holiday Parade.
Firefighers were called to Main and Cherry Streets, where a large crowd had gathered upon seeing Santa himself waiving his hands atop the First Bank building Sunday afternoon. He didn't appear injured and even clapped his hands when several fire trucks arrived on the scene.
Jolly Old Saint Nick for some reason gets stuck every year in Galesburg on the same day as the annual parade that's put on by the Galesburg Business Association.
Battalion Chief Ted Hoffman tells WGIL Santa's reindeer are apparently to blame for the latest blunder.
"The guy looked pretty familiar at first, as soon as we saw him we knew it was Santa," Hoffman said. "It seems like, I'm not sure, but I think it's the horn honking from the trains that's causing his reindeer to become a little off-course and it kind of frightens them (and) brings them down pretty fast. (Santa) had a pretty rough landing but he's okay and we were able to get him off without too much difficulty."
Hundreds of children gathered around Santa as he was safely brought down from the building onto Main Street.
The sunny and warm weather brought out thousands of people for the parade that followed. Officials say this year's parade, which was held two weeks early in hopes of benefiting from better weather than in the past, had around 70 entries.
Galesburg resident Steph Line tells WGIL she comes out to the parade every year. "It's just kind of tradition," Line said. "My kids were both in Marching Streaks and they're not anymore but we continue to follow the Streaks and just enjoy the parade."
Many people commented that it was a little strange having the parade before Thanksgiving, but the event was well-received nonetheless.
Line tells WGIL you can't help but to ponder a little about Christmas when attending the parade. "Oh I don't know, it gets you thinking about the holidays," Line said. "It's a gorgeous day. I remember a lot of days we've been very, very cold out here so it's good to be out on a nice day."
The grand marshals were Bob and Mary Eichhorn and Zachary Fridley served as Little Jack Frost.
Photos from the 2009 Galesburg Holiday Parade
Santa Claus is stranded on the roof of the First Bank building in downtown Galesburg
Firefighters prepare to go up and retrieve Santa Claus
Firefighters safely rescue Santa Claus from the roof of the bank building
Santa Claus is surrounded by people in downtown Galesburg after his rescue
(WGIL News Story and Photos by Mike Perry)
|11 23 09 by Newsroom
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