‘Chariots of fire’ help Santa travel in style

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  • Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Brightly decorated fire engines from South Boundary, Paradise Valley, Bonners Ferry, and North Bench parked on Bonners Ferry while Santa Claus visited with children.

  • 1

    Photo by LEN PINE The fire engines line in preparing to pick up Santa and take him on the Chariots of Fire journey.

  • 2

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Four year old Weston Keefe talks with Santa during his Chariots of Fire tour.

  • 3

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Santa’s Chariots of Fire at the Paradise Valley Fire station.

  • 4

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Six year old Aubrey Bethke and her brother, three year old George Bethke, meet with Santa at North Bench Fire station.

  • 5

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Santa’s Chariots of Fire paraded around from fire station to fire station on Dec. 8.

  • 6

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Even firefighters had a chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

  • 7

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Frosty the Snowman, one of Santa’s elves, and Santa at the Bonners Ferry Fire station.

  • 8

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN A wide array of cookies at the Paradise Valley Fire station.

  • 9

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The fire trucks arrive in Bonners Ferry.

  • 10

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Christmas comes to North Bench Fire station during Santa’s Chariots of Fire tour.

  • 11

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN A dinosaur received a candy cane from Santa at North bench Fire station.

  • 12

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The last stop of the Chariots of Fire tour was North Bench Fire station.

  • 13

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN North Bench Fire engine during Santa’s Chariots of Fire tour.

  • 14

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The tour brought Santa to children who may not have had a chance to see him during the Naples Holiday Festival.

  • 15

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Fun times at the Paradise Valley Fire station.

  • Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Brightly decorated fire engines from South Boundary, Paradise Valley, Bonners Ferry, and North Bench parked on Bonners Ferry while Santa Claus visited with children.

  • 1

    Photo by LEN PINE The fire engines line in preparing to pick up Santa and take him on the Chariots of Fire journey.

  • 2

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Four year old Weston Keefe talks with Santa during his Chariots of Fire tour.

  • 3

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Santa’s Chariots of Fire at the Paradise Valley Fire station.

  • 4

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Six year old Aubrey Bethke and her brother, three year old George Bethke, meet with Santa at North Bench Fire station.

  • 5

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Santa’s Chariots of Fire paraded around from fire station to fire station on Dec. 8.

  • 6

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Even firefighters had a chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

  • 7

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Frosty the Snowman, one of Santa’s elves, and Santa at the Bonners Ferry Fire station.

  • 8

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN A wide array of cookies at the Paradise Valley Fire station.

  • 9

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The fire trucks arrive in Bonners Ferry.

  • 10

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Christmas comes to North Bench Fire station during Santa’s Chariots of Fire tour.

  • 11

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN A dinosaur received a candy cane from Santa at North bench Fire station.

  • 12

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The last stop of the Chariots of Fire tour was North Bench Fire station.

  • 13

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN North Bench Fire engine during Santa’s Chariots of Fire tour.

  • 14

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The tour brought Santa to children who may not have had a chance to see him during the Naples Holiday Festival.

  • 15

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Fun times at the Paradise Valley Fire station.

BONNERS FERRY — A brilliant parade of fire engines, decked out in an array of Christmas lights, took a special guest, Santa Claus, from fire station to fire station on the evening of Dec. 8.

The journey began at the closing of the Naples Holiday Festival where Santa performed the tree lighting ceremony. Santa climbed into the new South Boundary Fire Engine and the caravan set out for Paradise Fire station. He transferred part way there into the Paradise Valley Fire engine.

The Paradise Valley Fire station had a room full of people, with eager children awaiting Santa’s arrival. There was a table adorned with plates of cookies and hot drinks were available. Children and firefighters alike took turns on Santa’s lap.

Santa then climbed aboard the Bonners Ferry Fire engine and the lighted procession traveled down to the city fire station where a grill was set up, providing hot dogs and chili. The last stop of the trip was North Bench Fire station that had a large craft table for the children to enjoy, as well as a photo backdrop for Santa, so parents could take pictures of him with their children.

Along with Santa, Frosty the Snowman and elves also assisted and entertained the children. At North Bench, a different character came out, a dinosaur, delighting many of the children and eliciting laughter from the adults.

This marks the fourth year that Santa has embarked on the colorful journey with the fire stations, known as Santa’s Chariots of Fire.

“Santa’s Chariots of Fire was a good add onto the Festival,” said South Boundary Fire Chief Tony Rohrwasser. “A few years ago some of the other fire departments came down with their trucks to help with rides.”

They adapted the festival times to be able to get darker skies to help Santa light the Community Christmas tree. Then they decided to travel to the other stations so kids that weren’t able to go to the festival had a second option to talk to Santa and to see the trucks lit up.

For Santa, he always enjoys his time in Boundary County.

“It is such a pleasure to see the smile on the kids’ faces when they get the chance to tell Santa what they want,” he said.

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