Santa Claus coming to Tofino and Ucluelet

“It’s another wonderful community warm-feeling event and a great fundraiser for our kids.”

Put the shouting, pouting, crying and just generally testing your parents patience on hold for a while kids, Santa Claus is coming to town.

Jolly Old St. Nicholas is making his way to the West Coast to make sure his naughty and nice tally is in order and his wish-lists are up to date.

He will arrive in Ucluelet on Dec. 9 where the Volunteer Fire Brigade will give him a convoy to the Community Centre at 9 a.m. sharp to attend the community’s pancake breakfast celebration that will be serving up philanthropic deliciousness from 8:30 a.m. To 10:30 a.m.

The event is a fundraiser for Ucluelet’s potential BMX bike park project and the cost to attend is $5 for kids, $8 for adults and $22 for families.

“It’s another wonderful community warm-feeling event and a great fundraiser for our kids,” said Lara Kemps of the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce, who added she’s excited to see Santa’s smiling face launch locals into the holiday spirit. “He brings out the kid in all of us.”

She said Ucluelet’s recreation department is collaborating with the town’s volunteer recreation commission to create a new BMX facility and has been in talks with builders on a preliminary design that’s expected to be mapped out over the next few weeks.

“The kids are asking for a revised and upgraded bike park,” she said. “It’s important for our kids. If you go down to the skate park right now and see all those children having a great time exercising and being outdoors; this is another thing to offer Ucluelet for our children.”

After helping Ucluelet raise funds for a new bike park, Santa will head back to the North Pole to regroup and tinker through some of his workload before firing up the sleigh again and heading back to the West Coast to attend a pancake breakfast at the Tofino community hall on Saturday, Dec. 16.

“Santa will be there to listen to everybody’s Christmas wishes and there will be some games for our younger attendees,” said Tofino’s manager of community sustainability Aaron Rodgers.

“Santa can be more difficult to book than you’d expect. It’s a bit of a challenge to get him to come out here every year. You want to go see him to make sure you get your Christmas wishes in in person.”

The event will be a fundraiser for Tofino’s Kids’ Access Fund, which provides financial assistance to lower-income families to enrol their children in local activities.

“It’s so that families that have financial challenges can still send their children to all of our various recreation programs,” Rodgers said. “The District of Tofino feels that everybody should have an opportunity to access all the recreation opportunities and we want to make sure that, as a community, we’re all moving forward together.”

He said the pancake breakfast event will include information on the future of Tofino’s community hall site.

“We’re going to present the community with some of the options for site planning for the community hall area,” he said. “Where might a recreation facility go? Where might a future pool go?”

He said the district has been working with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and organizations like the Tofino Pool Society and Tofino Recreation Commission to put a plan in place.

“The community hall area is important to us and we have some pretty big plans over the next couple of years,” he said. “We want to make sure that those ideas and the plans that we’ve come to are relevant and resonate with the community.”

He added Santa will attract the exact locals the district is hoping to put those plans in front of.

“We should get a pretty good turnout of kids and parents and those are the people that will benefit the most from these future projects. We want to get their feedback and it’s a great place to meet up with them,” he said. “It’s going to be low-key. It’s not going to dominate the event, but the information will be there if people want to wipe the syrup off their hands and take a look at some of the plans.”

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