Santa catches copter into Camellia City

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Santa parked his sleigh and reindeer and caught a ride on a helicopter into Greenville last Saturday, delighting grownups and kids alike on that very frosty morning.

“Look, look—it’s him!” Excited youngsters pointed their fingers at the familiar figure in red and white spotted waving at them as the royal blue whirly-bird carefully touched down on the blacktop. Santa emerged with a broad smile and plenty of “ho-ho-hos” as he saluted the crowd gathered for this special appearance in the Camellia City.

St. Nick’s festive crew of elves were there to meet him with warm hugs and happy greetings, escorting the jolly old elf across the road to his ultimate destination, Wintzell’s Oyster House.

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Inside, a steady stream of children sipped complimentary hot chocolate, a welcome warm up on a very cold morning in the Camellia City.  Each youngster eagerly awaited his or her chance to sit on Santa’s lap and share that Christmas list. Parents snapped photos of the momentous occasion while the elves passed out candy canes and kept everything running smoothly.

Later in the afternoon, Santa read that beloved Christmas classic, “A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas)” to the youngsters assembled.

Tim Holp, general manager of the Greenville Wintzell’s, declared himself truly happy with how well everything turned out. “There were some delays in loading Santa’s helicopter, so things were running a little behind and we appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Old Saint Nick had a blast during his visit, Holps says.

“Santa told me seeing the children’s excited faces and having them run up to greet him so warmly at the restaurant made it all so worthwhile. He never gets tired of bringing joy to children.”

Holp says that he hopes to continue to schedule a visit from Santa every December at the restaurant.

“And who knows? We may be able to get Mrs. Claus to come next year, too!”