Santa Claus was marooned on a rooftop, yet again, during the annual Elk Grove Dickens Street Faire on Nov. 24. Cosumnes firefighters rescued him at the Elk Grove Lock & Safe Co. building to kick off the festival that morning.
After having breakfast with the community at the Brick House Restaurant & Lounge, Santa made his way to the roof to check on his reindeer.
As has been the case for about the past 25 years, that was when the trouble began.
Mrs. Claus told the Citizen how her hubby managed to find himself stranded on the roof.
She noted that he annually encounters problems while checking out his new sleigh and its many new gadgets.
For Santa, coming to Elk Grove is part of a training mission for both himself and his reindeer.
Mrs. Claus said that each year, Santa travels with reindeer that are both young and adventurous, and enjoy venturing off in search for snacks in the city of Elk Grove.
But while leaving Santa behind, the reindeer forget that he is dependent on them to bring him to the ground level to continue visiting with the community.
Mrs. Claus spoke about the predicament that the reindeer left Santa in this year.
“(The reindeer) have got to learn and it’s better that they practice now instead of on Christmas Eve,” she said. “And sometimes they’ve got a mind of their own.”
Mrs. Claus added that it worries local children to witness Santa on the roof with his reindeer nowhere in sight.
“They don’t like seeing Santa up there (on the roof),” she said. “They need to know that he’s going to be OK.”
Cosumnes Fire was there to save the day. However, the local firefighters found that they needed the assistance of children to discover the best method to bring Santa to the ground safely.
While working with the firefighters, the children informed them that a short ladder and a short pole were not long enough to reach the roof, and that throwing a rope to Santa for him to scale down was not a great idea.
Desperate to find a safer way to save Santa, the children stretched out a 5-foot circular shaped piece of material for him to jump on. But Santa was not willing to take the leap.
Finally, the children told the firemen that using the ladder on their fire truck would be the best method to bring Santa safely to the ground.
Taking their advice, the firemen raised their ladder to the roof and brought old St. Nick to the ground without a scratch.
With his feet planted firmly on the ground, Santa told the Citizen that his reindeer were “off looking for carrots” and would eventually return.
Mrs. Claus praised the work of the CSD firemen.
“These are Elk Grove’s finest,” she said. “We trust Elk Grove every time we come here. That’s one of the reasons we come here is we know we can count on them.”
Santa added that he felt very safe with the firemen as they lowered him to the ground.
“The (CSD) fire department, they are the best, and I felt so safe with them,” he said. “A big thank you for the fire department for saving me.”
Santa added that those firemen are guaranteed more presents under their trees this year.
Several Elk Grove children, including James McKee Elementary School student Kodi Clark, said they were also happy that Santa was rescued.
“I’m relieved, because if he stayed up there, we wouldn’t get presents,” she said. “The parents would have to get a present instead.”
Now that Santa is available to make deliveries, Clark hopes that he brings her a skateboard.
While hanging out with her 6-year-old sister, 8-year-old Edna Batey Elementary School student Abby Lowery also expressed gratitude that Santa was rescued.
“I’m really happy that they saved Santa from the roof, because if they didn’t save Santa, Christmas would be ruined,” she said.
The Santa rescue also drew the attention of 3-year-old Belle Pettenger.
Belle’s mother Courtney said that watching the Santa rescue is a family tradition that extends back to her own childhood.
“I remember seeing this when I was a kid, and now I have little ones,” she said. “(Belle) loved seeing Santa and having the ladder and the rope and everything. She was all into it. It kind of starts off the holiday season.”