On this day, he was the most popular man in all of Palmerton.

At least in the eyes of the starstruck children who saw Santa as he arrived in the borough park on Saturday.

The annual Santa in the Park event was sponsored by the Aquashicola Fire Department, the Palmerton Fire Department and Palmerton Memorial Park Association.

Samantha Muthard, 6, of Palmerton, said "I told Santa what I want for Christmas."

Her mother, Jennifer Muthard, said Samantha "had fun, and loved to see Santa Claus."

Each child who visited with Santa received a free goody bag, while free cookies and hot chocolate were served to those who waited in line.

On top of that, three extra special rewards were given out; two Toys R Us gift cards, one to Bradley Jarrett, and the other to Sophia Serfass, as well as a 2013 child season membership to the pool, won by Brady Benedict.

In all, 150 goody bags were given out, said Susie Arner, president of Pool Pals of Palmerton Memorial Park. The 50 remaining bags were then given to the Aquashicola Fire Company, which, in turn, donated them to Toys for Tots.

"The turnout was excellent, as usual," Arner said. "We're very thankful for the amount of businesses, and the community, for bringing their children out to this free event."

Arner said the Christmas Tree was donated by Lowe's Home Improvement in Lehighton, and decorated by Cub Pack 41 of Palmerton. The Concourse Club of Palmerton decorated the bandstand, she said.

Among the sponsors Arner thanked were Pencor Services, Country Harvest, Georges P& H, First Niagara Bank of Palmerton, Palmerton Memorial Park Association Pool Pals, Palmerton Fire Department and Aquashicola Fire Department.