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Santa Returns to Westchase Dec. 8

He wants your smiles. He wants your letters!

Yes, Santa Claus is coming to your neighborhood on his vintage firetruck to visit your block parties and high-five the kids. Perhaps your village or organization would like to join the fun and enter your float this year?

Santa’s “Pre-Flight” Parade returns to Westchase on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 2-8 p.m. The event culminates in the annual Tree Lighting ceremony on Montague Street in West Park Village upon Santa’s arrival at approximately 8 p.m. Holiday music and activities including Davidson middle school’s jazz band and orchestra will start in West Park Village Town Center at approximately 6 p.m.

WOW is proud to help make this event possible through a donation of $5,000 to cover its costs.

Help Santa Help Others

Most important, Santa wants your help! To help make his visit to Westchase extra special, he hopes you will be Santa Claus to some less fortunate kids. Along his parade route Santa will collect unwrapped gifts for the Town and Country Boys and Girls Club to be donated to many families in need of assistance this holiday season. Santa and his helpers hope to collect new and unwrapped toys, games, books, bikes and batteries of all sizes.

Each year Santa parades through Westchase in an event organized by Dan and Brandon O’Brien, Ralph Caputo, Santa and other volunteers from the Westchase Charitable Foundation (WCF). Since 2004 The WCF, a volunteer organization of Westchase residents, has provided over $500,000 to assist families with seriously ill children and families faced with tragedies. Residents interested in participating in the parade by putting together a float can still contact parade organizers Ralph Caputo at thecaputos@yahoo.com or Brandon O’Brien at brandono850@gmail.com.

Tracking Santa

Residents hoping to track Santa’s progress through Westchase can do so through their smartphones and computers. Simply save the following link, http://glympse.com/!westchasesanta to yo,ur phone or your computer and click on it at noon on Saturday, Dec. 8.

While you are encouraged to click on the link at noon, the cursor marking Santa’s whereabouts won’t become active until roughly 2 p.m., the parade’s official start time.

In Case of Inclement Weather

The parade has been fortunate to have great weather greet Santa since its beginning in 2004. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be rescheduled to Saturday, Dec. 15. Please follow WOW’s Facebook group, Westchase Neighborhood News (the version of the group with over 6,000 residents) for any weather announcement on the day of the parade.

Parade Route

Where will Santa’s firetruck and his parade travel?

Check the street map running with this article. The highlighted roads in red indicate the parade route. The length of the route and time it takes Santa to travel it makes it very difficult to add roads.

From experience, parade staff have also learned that certain roads, particularly narrow ones in West Park Village with their street parking, make it nearly impossible for the parade to pass.

Residents are encouraged to follow the Santa tracker and greet Santa on the nearest road as he passes.

All residents are invited to attend the tree lighting in West Park Village at approximately 8 p.m. There Santa will get down from the truck, light the tree and greet the families who are gathered.

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