Traditional visits and photos in ‘Santa’s Office; return this year’
One of the longest-running local holiday traditions in New England will continue this season when Santa Claus makes his annual visit to Pine Banks Park next week.
Santa Claus will take time out of his busy schedule at the North Pole to come to his Pine Banks headquarters, at 1087 Main St. on the Malden-Melrose line, on Saturday, December 18, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.,
For the 72nd year, Santa and his helpers, the Ward 5 elves and others from Ward 1 and elsewhere around the community, will be making a stop at the park to greet all the good little boys and girls and their families and collect their letters and Christmas Wish Lists in person.
Santa Claus first visited Pine Banks in 1949 and enjoyed himself so much he kept coming back every year since, according to Malden Ward 5 City Councillor Barbara Murphy. “It’s a fantastic holiday tradition and we are so excited it’s something we can keep going,” Councilor Murphy said.
This year marks a return to the traditional Santa visits, as “Santa’s Office” will be up and operating and photos with the man himself will be available as they have been in the past.
In accordance with health and safety protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all those who participate are requested to wear masks. The masks can be off the children during photos, however.
Also on hand this year are expected to be other holiday characters, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Olaf from “Frozen”, the Christmas Bear, Elmo and others.
Pine Banks Superintendent Kevin Benner and his staff are busy preparing for Santa’s visit. Councillor Murphy and the Ward 5 elves will be handing out candy canes and collecting the letters and lists for Santa. Mrs. Claus has been busy in the kitchen and will be distributing cookies and hot chocolate packages in cups “to go” as well.
Malden children and families: Don’t miss your chance to tell Santa whether you’ve been “naughty or nice!”