Sunday, April 14, 2024

Santa comes to town

The North Pole couple listening to Christmas lists and posed for photos


BRIDGEPORT – Santa and Mrs. Claus came to town early – but in style – at brightly lit Bouska Park on Dec. 8.

Following a tour of the downtown in a light-decorated fire engine, the North Pole couple settled in the park gazebo and spent the next two hours listening to Christmas lists and posing for photos from scores of families lined up for their turn to sit with the merry pair.

Chamber of Commerce president Jose Sanchez said that despite the wet and cold weather the crowd turned out in good spirits to enjoy free hot drinks, tamales, and cookies, courtesy of the Bridgeport Plaza and San Marcos markets.

The attendance was reminiscent of the chamber’s previous event, Oktoberfest in Fireman Park, where more than 100 folks gathered for Halloween-themed activities.

“We handed out about 150 goodie bags,” said Sanchez who estimated the total turnout at more than 200 people, some from out of town.

“We advertised on social media,” said Sanchez, “and we booked Santa six months in advance to make sure he was available.”

Residents who recall past Christmas in the park gatherings may have noticed some new lighting both in Bouska and Fireman parks. Last year the city, with help from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, purchased some new holiday light panels that helps add to the festive atmosphere in Bouska.

“The next thing is to get a Christmas tree for there,” said city clerk Judy Brown. “We’ve heard about an Arbor grant to check into to try to get a permanent Christmas tree to replace the one we had to take out.”

Sanchez is already laying plans for next year.

“We plan to make it bigger and better,” said Sanchez. “We’re planning to have a parade next year.”

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or


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