Santa arrives in style in Alex Bay

Updated: Dec. 21, 2019 at 11:15 PM EST
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ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Santa is known to arrive in style, but in Alexandria Bay, he doesn’t come by sleigh.

Families lined up near the village dock in Alexandria Bay waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. But if they looked to the sky, there’d be no sleigh in sight.

This Santa comes by boat.

“It would be kind of hard to bring a sleigh with reindeer in here,” said Santa Claus.

It was a one of a kind experience for some of the kids waiting for him, who might otherwise expect to see a sleigh.

"Usually, you don’t see Santa in a boat. So, it’s kind of new and funky,” said Layla Frost who attended the River Santa Festival.

“It’s really funny. Seeing him coming in on a boat from the North Pole," said Saige Baker.

It’s the fifth year of Alexandria Bay’s River Santa Festival.

Event organizers bought about 600 gifts to make sure every kid 12 and younger got a free present. The toys left over will be delivered to Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown for the younger patients there.

Lisa Slate helps organize the event and says everyone involved feels like a kid on Christmas.

“It takes us all back to our childhood at Christmas time. We want to make sure all children get a special gift, and have a great time outside,” said Lisa Slate.

Kids and teens from the non-profit Hearts For Youth are volunteering by setting up, passing out hot chocolate, and dressing up in character. And, the hope is they learn the lesson of giving.

“It’s always great to give back. It’s not all about getting something. It’s giving back to our community,” said Denise Haddock, the Hearts For Youth Executive Director.

Slate says the event keeps growing every year and some are already thinking about Santa’s arrival next year.

“It would be even funnier if next year, it was decorated like a sleigh,” said Caroline Carr.

A unique suggestion for the Bay’s unique Christmas celebration.

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