Steamboat Springs loans fire truck to Santa for 12 days of Christmas
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Standing in line in the cold, or in a crowded mall, to see Santa is a tradition we all love to hate. But this year, there is a void where the big man in red used to sit.
In an attempt to fill that void and give local kids a chance to see those rosy cheeks and that jiggly belly, the city of Steamboat Springs is parading Santa around in the biggest red sleigh they could find: a fire truck.
For 12 days leading up to Christmas, Santa will travel to every neighborhood in Steamboat Springs, giving families a chance to stand at the end of their driveway and wave.
“Who doesn’t like a parade with fire trucks and Santa Claus?” said Mike Lane, communications manager for the city.
Starting at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, Santa will tour a small section of Steamboat. The parade will last about an hour each night. The schedule, which could change due to weather or other reasons, is posted at steamboatsprings.net/bigredsleigh.
“We hope folks will stay in their neighborhood, stay close to their house and stay with their family or household and celebrate Santa as he comes by,” Lane said. “(Don’t) gather in groups, just the same things we’re all doing.”
Andrea Sponseller, an EMT, thinks the holiday magic will be felt not only outside the fire truck but inside as well as the drivers see the faces of small children light up at the sight of Santa.
“It seemed like everyone could use a little more joy,” she said. “And I think that kids really look forward to Santa this time of year, and we just wanted to make sure that that could happen.”
When now Steamboat Springs resident Brittney Freisell and her husband, Quint, lived on the Front Range, the Westminster Fire Department would bring Santa around to neighborhoods on a fire truck. The Freisells’ kids Georgia, Lily and Aiden got an extra kick out of it since their dad was a firefighter in Westminster.
After moving to Steamboat in 2019, the Freisells got to visit with Santa around town last winter but haven’t been graced by his presence yet this year.
“I think it’s incredible to bring that magic to them and the neighborhoods,” she said. “How cool is it that Santa’s going to be on a fire truck. Kids love fire trucks. I love that they’re doing it. It’going to be a really special thing for my kids.”
Her husband will be working a shift in the Front Range when Santa comes by on the fire engine.
“They’ll see the fire truck, think of Daddy, and I think it’ll feel more like Christmas,” Brittney said.
Additionally, the city is collecting donations in the form of gift cards that can be dropped off in secure boxes at the Mountain Fire Station at 2600 Pine Grove Road or Steamboat Pilates at 111 11th Street, Unit 103, throughout the 12 days of Christmas. The cards will be distributed through the United Way to those in need across the Yampa Valley.
Dec.13: Silver Spur, Heritage Park, Steamboat II
Dec. 14: Riverside, Honeysuckle, West Acres, West End Village
Dec. 15: Conestoga, Indian Trails, Sunlight Drive, Dream Island
Dec. 16: Fairview, Old Town (Crawford Boulevard, Merrit to 11th Street)
Dec. 17: Downtown (Ninth Street to Third Street)
Dec. 18: Third Street, Conifer Circle, Amethyst, Fish Creek, Harwig Circle, Blue Sage, Pamela Lane
Dec. 19: Fish Creek South – Tamarack, Cherry Drive, Wyatt, Hillside, Mountain Vista, Sandhill Circle, High Point
Dec. 20: Anglers – Fox, Fish Creek Trailer Park, Walton Ponds, Weiss Drive, Majestic
Dec. 21: Steamboat Boulevard, Clubhouse, Indian Summer, Mount Werner, UCHealth ER, Villages at Steamboat
Dec. 22: Walton Creek (left side) – Casey’s Pond, Bronc Buster, Walton Creek, Mineral Springs, Apres Ski Village
Dec. 23: Walton Creek (right side) – Chinook, Willowbrook Court, Chinook, Meadow Lane, Stone, Whistler Meadow, Timothy, Brome, Meadow, Hunters Drive, Meadow, Village, Walton Creek, Whistler, Skyview, Chinook
Dec. 24: Lincoln Avenue, Mount Werner, River Road, Brooklyn, Howelsen Hill, Yampa Street, 12th Street
On Friday, Dec. 18, Santa will travel via fire truck around Hayden, starting at 6:30 p.m. The West Routt Fire Protection District will post the route on its Facebook page.
Santa is coming to town. Santa asked us to give his reindeer a break before the long night of present delivery. So,…
North Routt Fire Protection District is also working around Santa’s busy schedule to set up a time for the man in red to parade around the North Routt area. Any updates will be posted on its Facebook page.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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