Local kids only have one day left to finish off their Christmas wish lists as Santa Claus is coming to town.
Santa’s sleigh will land on the West Coast on Dec. 12 and the jolly old elf will join locals at pancake breakfasts being held in his honour in Ucluelet and Tofino
His first breakfast will be at the Ucluelet Community Centre. The centre’s doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and Santa is expected to arrive around 9 a.m.
“We’re very excited to see Santa,” said Ucluelet’s parks and recreation director Abby Fortune.
“Santa loves coming to Ucluelet every year, it’s one of his favourite things to do because he gets to ride the fire truck and Santa loves to ride the fire truck.”
The event will include a variety of festive activities as well as performances from local dancers and the Ukee Glee Kids, according to Fortune.
“It will be a really wonderful way to give Santa your wish list before Christmas,” she said.
Ucluelet’s breakfast is being hosted by the USS geography class as a fundraiser for their upcoming trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
USS principal Carol Sedgwick said West Coast students earn valuable learning experiences by traveling to other places and engaging with other cultures.
“Over the years staff at USS have come up with opportunities for our students to travel within our country and overseas,” she said.
“All our overseas trips provide opportunities for our youth to understand what life is like for others, feel empathy and compassion for others who are not so fortunate, and realize that they can make a difference in others lives. We are working with our tour company to have our students spend some time at an orphanage in between visits to historical landmarks and cultural experiences.”
She said the West Coast’s support is vital for these trips to take place and added her students are on the hunt for other fundraising opportunities.
“Helping out at events like the Breakfast with Santa event allows our students to give back to their community while fundraising,” she said. “The students welcome other opportunities to help out where they can so if you have an event coming up in the next few months please contact us at the school.”
After Santa has had his fill of Ucluetian pancakes and spoken with all the Ucluelet kids on his ‘Nice List,’ he will jet off to the Tofino Community Hall for another pancake breakfast at 10 a.m.
“We’re really excited,” said Tofino’s recreation assistant Jess Towers.
“Santa is always very jolly when he comes to Tofino so we’re definitely looking forward to having him out and it should be a good time.”
She added the breakfast’s festivities will include a performance from the new Tofino Children’s Choir.
“The community gets excited about coming out to this event…It’s really nice to get that sense of community and have all the kids and families in one place,” she said.
“A town like Tofino can be pretty tourist based with a lot of its activities so we look forward to these ones where it’s more of a focus on our town and our community.”
The funds raised at the event will go towards the Tofino recreation department’s Kids Access Fun, which provides assistance to youth who would otherwise be financially unable to participate in the district’s recreational programming.
“The Kids Access Fun helps us make sure that all kids are able to access all of our programs,” Towers said.
“We like to see that families are using it and there’s years where you may have a family that’s using it and then they turn around and they’re donating to it another year so it’s one of those paying it forward kind of things and it’s just nice to see.”