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Santa program draws hundreds downtown, say organizers

SANTA VISITS with children on a Saturday before Christmas. This family was among 350 children and their parents who visited Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the old Griffith Motors showroom.	Contributed photo

SANTA VISITS with children on a Saturday before Christmas. This family was among 350 children and their parents who visited Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the old Griffith Motors showroom. Contributed photo

Over 350 children and their parents visited Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the old Griffith Automotive Showroom for the, Santa in the Downtown Saturdays last month put on by The Dalles Main Street Organization.

Both children and parents took advantage of a sleigh ride through the downtown as well.

“It was great to see hard working citizens pull together and have an event that made some kids and parents very happy,” said David Griffith, owner of Griffith Motors. “I am glad that Main Street did the event and it worked out so well.”

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SANTA CLAUS, with his wife, a few elves and visitors, is driven down Third Street Saturday by Gary Honald, who gave sleigh rides in downtown The Dalles. Dec. 21 is the last day to enjoy the downtown Santa and sleigh.

The sleigh and sleigh decorations were made possible by Gary Honald and the Kiwanis Club.

“A big thanks to Dave Griffith for allowing us to use the building and it was great to have the weather with us. People really turned out for the event, we had about 30 or so people in the sleigh at a time,” said Honald, downtown property owner.

Wonderworks Children’s Museum of the Gorge took and printed photographs for families to remember their visit and raised a sizable amount in donations.

“The organization brought by The Dalles Main Street and the sleigh ride made a huge difference in increasing attendance,” said Anne Kelly, a Wonderworks volunteer. “It was a great fundraising and networking opportunity for Wonderworks.”

Santa’s elves were foreign exchange students and Key Club members from Italy, Russia, and Switzerland.

Cookies and hot chocolate were provided by Safeway and The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Debra Blakeslee donated her time to paint the windows announcing Santa’s visit and Port of The Dalles helped decorate and staff the event.

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