Despite the busy time of year, Santa Claus was able to leave the North Pole for a night to stop by Holiday Night on St. Armands Circle.
To pass the time before Santa’s arrival, the Sarasota High School Drama Department dance troupe and chamber choir performed for the crowd. Then, St. Armands Circle Association Executive Director Diana Corrigan led the crowd in a Christmas carol sing-along to welcome Santa to the circle.
The sing-along wasn’t always a tradition. A few years ago, Santa got stuck in traffic and his arrival was delayed, so in an attempt to keep the crowd entertained, Corrigan started the sing-along, which she now says is a crowd favorite.
“It makes me laugh because it started as an accident,” Corrigan said.
When Santa arrived, he had the honor of flipping the switch on the 55-foot Christmas tree to light it up. The tree, the tallest on the Gulf Coast of Florida, is adorned with 650 ornaments.
Finally, it was time for kids to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. The line wrapped partly around the Circle as kids took their turn sharing their wish lists with Santa. From stuffed animals to American Girl dolls, Santa took note of everyone’s lists.