Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive in their KPFD rig. Photo: Anne Nesbit

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the Key Corral Sunday, Dec. 2, to enjoy the Christmas tree lighting. They’ll have treats for the children and pose for photos with them. 

Dr. Roes and his Down Home Band plus the Key Singers start the celebration at 4 p.m. with Christmas carols and wintertime music. 

The original idea for the annual celebration came from the volunteers of the Firefighters Association over 40 years ago. They rigged up Santa’s sleigh to be pulled by a fire department pickup. 

For three decades Fred and Mary Ramsdell were the featured stars as Santa and his missus until they pulled up roots in 2005 and moved to Hawaii. Many different volunteers have filled the essential roles since. 

It was dentist John Olsson in Key Center who added the tree lighting in 1987. Dr. Roes brought his band to play music and the Key Singers soon joined in. 

Dr. Roes recalls a year when the band decided to record their performance. Rhys Woods was the master of ceremonies then and what came through was his voice singing Christmas carols loud and clear with the band in the background. He made up words as he went along. 

“It was a riot,” said Roes.

Hot drinks, cookies and warm cheer should make waiting for Santa a treat for everyone. Sirens and bright lights announce the arrival of the sleigh and the time for the tree to be lit, as the music rings out.