Rudolph and the other reindeer may have the transportation contract for Christmas Eve locked up, but Santa gives the team the day off the next morning, trading the reindeer with the big red nose for one of the Saugerties Fire Department’s big red trucks.
Starting at 9 a.m., the jolly old elf will embark from the fire station on the Christmas Candy Run, distributing goodies to kids throughout the village. Fire Chief Dave Mason says the department manages to hit every street in the village.
It’s a quintessentially Saugerties custom that starts with firemen playing the role of the elves, stuffing around 1,000 packets of candy. Just as they have for the last 93 years, firemen arrive early on Christmas morning for breakfast and take off in two shifts of about three hours each, a dozen to a shift. It’s organized by C.A. Lynch Fire Company but includes members of all village fire companies.
“We usually finish up by 3 p.m. so the crews can get home for their own Christmas dinners,” Mason said.
Over the years, Santa’s trip has been interrupted a few times by fire calls, but the distribution usually takes place without interruption.
Look for the fire truck on Wednesday, Dec. 25 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.