Youngsters greet Santa in Palmerton
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Isaiha Leickel, 4, of Slatington, anxiously looks through his goody bag as he sits on the lap of Santa Claus Saturday in the Palmerton Borough Park bandstand.
They arrived with a wish list and twinkle in their eye and left with a goody bag and smile on their face.
Like kids in a candy store, Palmerton Area youth came out in droves to visit Jolly Old Saint Nick Saturday in the Palmerton Borough Park bandstand.
Santa Claus arrived in grand fashion courtesy of a fire truck, and was greeted by anxious children eager to hand him their Christmas lists.
As she sifted through her goody bag, Kylie Schafer, 5, of Palmerton, said the activity was "awesome."
Isaiha Leickel, 4, of Slatington, said he enjoyed the "crane in the [fire] truck" which delivered Santa Claus to the park.
Goody bags were given out to all children, who also had a chance to win a Toys R Us gift card, or a Child's Membership to the Palmerton Pool in 2011.
The Toys R Us gift card went to Erika Pysher and Richard Heydt of Palmerton, while the Palmerton pool child pass for 2011 went to Ben Netznik of Palmerton
In all, Santa visited with 243 children at the annual event, sponsored by the Palmerton Fire Department and the Aquashicola Fire Department, as well as the Palmerton Memorial Park Association.
Susie Arner, president of Pool Pals of Palmerton Memorial Park, thanked Country Harvest, First National Bank, First Niagra Bank of Palmerton, and Pencor Services who supplied the goody bags.
Arner also thanked both fire departments, the Palmerton Ambulance, the Palmerton Memorial Park Association, the borough for its use of the park, and the school district for its promotion of the event.
"This has probably been our biggest turnout ever," Arner said. "Thank you to all the children who helped Santa out with giving him their Christmas lists so he can get the elves busy working and planning.
Rory Koons, president of the Aquashicola Fire Company, said the event has remained intact for well over 20 years.
"This is the most I've ever seen," Koons said. "It's continually growing."