Santa Claus will arrive early at several Dale City homes today and the folks from the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department will give him a ride around town on a fire truck.
Every year, Santa takes a little extra time to visit area children who can’t leave their houses because of illness, said Trudi Sipes, the helper who shows Santa where to go.
Santa and about 10 elf helpers arrive with a gift of choice for each of the children. The lights and sirens that accompany his arrival create a stir, Sipes said.
Children in Lake Ridge, Dale City and Montclair get a kick out of it when St. Nick shows up.
“How many children get to look out their front door and see Santa coming up their walk?” Sipes asked.
Many of the children Santa visits early are cancer patients, said Sipes, who has been helping Santa for many years.
“These are seriously ill children,” she said.
The parents tell Santa what their children want for Christmas so that his arrival will be a surprise, Sipes said.
“The parents tell us what their likes and interests are,” Sipes said.
The firefighters don’t get started with the holidays until they’ve carried Santa around town.
“It’s not Christmas without it,” Sipes said of the operation.
Santa will be visiting eight families in the area, four in the morning and four in the afternoon.
“Santa needs a rest in between,” Sipes said.