Santa gets shiny new sleigh in Connellsville Township
For many years, the Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department had a long-standing tradition where Santa was driven through the township's streets distributing treat bags to the children. But when the VFD sold the 1977 truck used for the event, the department was faced with a quandary.
What are they going to do with Santa?
“We knew that we had to do something,” assistant fire chief Rob Leiberger said. “The new truck that we bought was too high for Santa to ride in. We were afraid he'd be up in the trees or get hit by some low-hanging branches.”
The department then approached honorary member Scott Brooks of Connellsville, who had constructed items for the department in the past.
The initial idea was to use one of the department's trailers, covered with decorations, for the event. Then, they thought a sleigh might be a great asset to the annual treat distribution.
“They asked me about it about two months ago, and wanted to know if I could build a sleigh,” Brooks said, adding that he and a few friends and family members helped in the construction. “I came up with the design and we put it together.”
Brooks said the biggest obstacle he faced was the sleigh's size, which turned out to measure approximately 6-by-10-feet long.
The red sleigh, covered in lights, will now be the permanent transportation for “Santa” as he makes his way through the township's streets, being pulled by one of the department's trucks. A second truck follows, flashing lights and playing Christmas music.
“We'll take the sleigh apart and store it, then put it back together for next year,” Leiberger said.
The firemen put together 300 to 350 treat bags every year to hand out to the children. The shining new sleigh is a wonderful addition to the tradition.
“When I saw it, it was ‘Wow!' that's about the bottom line,” Leiberger said. “We want to keep the tradition going and we like to do something a little bit different.
“Anyone could put Santa on a fire truck, but we like to have something special,” he added.
Leiberger said the department looks forward to the event every year, visiting with the residents and seeing the children.
“This is a great opportunity for us to give back to our community,” Leiberger said. “It's for the kids and we try to do as much as we can.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Post-war ‘welcome’ still stings Vietnam War veteran from Connellsville
- Aaron’s building review planned
- Fayette County men recount fathers’ roles in World War II
- Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant fireworks postponed until Sunday
- Funeral planned for Connellsville teen who died in crash
- Connellsville fireworks display back to riverbank
- Rockin’ Ribfest in Connellsville on weekend
- Investigation into dropped baby at Uniontown Hospital continues
- PIC facility in Lemont Furnace serves kids, job seekers
- Scott C’s July 4 Car Show planned in Connellsville
- Boy, 5, in stable condition after fall from window in Fayette County