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Santa Claus Arrives in Jasper

The Jasper community celebrated Friday as Saint Nick himself greeted children and rode around the downtown square on a fire truck. The annual tree lighting also took place, while many children dressed as Christmas gifts could be spotted. Spirits were high as Santa finally settled into his own house downtown.

Posted: Nov 26, 2021 8:01 PM

While the Jasper Chamber of Commerce’s Santa Claus experience was a little different in 2020, this year, lines of families waited to tell Saint Nick himself what they want for Christmas.

The festivities all kicked off at the fire station.

"Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we bring Santa to the big tree and to Santa's house,” said Jasper resident Kari Roth. "There weren't as many people, but we still did it. But this year, it's going to be even bigger and we're going to see Santa closer this year."

Her 8-year-old son Kaiden, is proud he gets to sit atop the fire truck with Santa as it makes its way downtown, especially with a fire-fighter for a dad.

Santa said he has a message for everyone this Christmas:

“I want to tell everybody, 'Make sure they have a safe and lovely holiday,” he said. “We want to enjoy everybody that's there. And plus, all the people that surround you. It's not just about gifts."

One tradition that is about gifts though, is children dressing up as wrapped packages for the special day.

"It's a great tradition to see all of the little kids as boxes as Christmas presents,” Kari Roth said. “You get to hear the Jasper band playing."

And of course, the lighting of the Christmas tree.

"This has become such a ritual,” said Mayor Dean Vonderheide. “We really enjoy this as a tradition in the city.”

This year, a student from Ireland Elementary School got to do the honors.

As for Purdue freshman and festival queen Kate Stemle, she says these celebrations showcase the true holiday spirit of the Jasper community.

"It's exciting because it shows that we are getting back to some of our traditions,'' she said. “And it's exciting to see everyone out here and having fun all together."

Santa Claus will be at his special house Saturday and Sunday from noon until 3 p.m.

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Wow!!!! It's cold!!!! After a trace of snow in Evansville and some higher amounts to the south, we're waking up to temperatures in the mid to upper teens across the Tri-State. Thankfully, road crews did a fantastic job treating the roads to keep conditions from getting slick. However, the northerly winds gusting as high as 15 to 20 mph has dropped wind chill values into the single digits and even below zero in our western communities. There won't be much of an improvement in temperatures this afternoon. With the strong northerly wind flow and dry skies our highs will only reach the mid to upper 20s. Winds will stay quite breezy keeping the wind chill factor in place through the day.
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