After a year off due to the COVID pandemic, what has become a favorite holiday tradition for many in Salina is back. The Georgetown Santas tell KSAL News they will again be back out spreading holiday cheer December 21st – 23rd.
The group of neighbors have become a popular mainstay in Salina in the days leading up to Christmas each year. Each year they Santa suit up on Georgetown Road in East Salina, handing out candy and popcorn and spreading Christmas cheer.
The tradition began back in 1998, when Jack Schmiedeler moved to Georgetown Road. He noticed a lot of traffic at Christmas from sightseers looking at the lights. He bought a Santa suit, stood outside, waved and gave away candy.
His neighbor from across the street, Paul McDaniel, asked if he could join in the fun. Other neighbors including Pete Martin, Mike Chaput, and Mel Augustine joined in the effort. Also joining in as Santa’s helpers were Justin Martin, Virgil Michaelis, and Larry Thompson. They began handing out freshly-popped popcorn in addition to the candy.
The Georgetown Santas now greet thousands of visitors in the days leading up to Christmas, from neighbors that approach on foot, to travelers coming in from out of state. The Santas distribute hundreds of pounds of candy, several thousand candy canes, and the Elves pop over 400 lbs. of popcorn in their 4 days of operation, annually.
The Georgetown Santas will be out this year December 21st – 23rd, 6:30pm – 9:00pm handing out popcorn and candy.