By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON — Children throughout the Village of Enon and Mad River Township welcomed Santa and Mrs. Claus in style Friday evening, Dec. 9 as the jolly couple rode atop an Enon/Mad River Township Department fire truck spectacularly adorned in true holiday tradition for the Enon Santa Parade.
Flashing lights and screaming sirens announced the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus as they braved frigid temperatures and made their way through 17 different neighborhoods in the village and township. The Enon/Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department sponsors the holiday event each year as a way to spread a little holiday cheer and bring smiles to local children’s faces.
“Two brightly-lit fire trucks with Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard always start out in the outer areas of the township and then make their way to the center of the village,” Fire and EMS Captain Kenny Bostick said.
Bostick, who rode in a medic unit that escorted Santa and Mrs. Claus to the western part of the township and village, once took on the task as Santa and rode along with Maxine McKee, a 42-year volunteer at the department who dressed up as Mrs. Claus.
“After about six years, Maxine and I turned over the job of Santa and Mrs. Claus to the younger members of the department, but we both still participate in the parade each year,” said Bostick.
This year, department members Ben and Erin Beair and Mike Gardone and Leslie Dalton took on the roles of Santa and Mrs. Clause, and Jenna Bennet served as one of Santa’s elves who passed out candy canes to local children.
The two fire trucks rolled out about 30 minutes late because of some technical problems with the Christmas lights on one fire truck, but Santa and Mrs. Claus soon made their way to Parkridge Acres in the eastern part of the township and Holiday Valley subdivision in the western part of the township. All along the parade route, parents and children came out of their houses to experience the pageantry of the Santa parade.
According to McKee, Gardone and Dalton’s hands and faces became so cold during the parade that they were forced to trade out with driver Jeremy Leist and Bennet who then took their place atop one of the fire trucks.
“We covered every street and neighborhood on the map and didn’t arrive back to the fire and EMS station until 11 p.m. But, seeing the smiles on all the kids’ faces makes it all worthwhile,” McKee said.
Fire and EMS Chief Tracy Young, who drove the battalion truck that escorted Santa and Mrs. Claus to the eastern part of the township and village, said the fire and EMS department received a great reception and positive feedback this year from many village and township residents.
“It’s our pleasure to bring Santa and Mrs. Claus, via our fire trucks, to our community every year,” Young said. “The excitement by both the children and adults, when they see Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard our fire trucks, just broadens and enlightens our holiday season.”
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.