Santa Claus came to town Dec. 6 under a full moon in Santa Clara, arriving aboard the 12th annual Holiday Train, which pulled into the Caltrain station punctually at 8:10 p.m.
Families crowded onto the train platform well before Santa and Mrs. Claus, their entourage of elves, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, the Gingerbread Man and toy soldiers descended from the festive, neon-lighted train to greet the children. A light flurry of artificial snow fell, and the Peninsula Harmony Chorus sang carols from aboard an open train car.
“It makes you feel like a kid again!” exclaimed Sunnyvale resident Patrice McDonald, who was there with her sister and seven-year-old nephew.
Santa Clara residents Sherri and Chris Brusseau held Olivia, their four-year-old, above the crowd on Chris’ shoulders. It was the family’s first time seeing the Holiday Train.
“We love the fact that they’re still doing it, even with budget cuts,” said Sherri Brusseau.
And then in a twinkling, just 20 minutes later, Santa was gone.
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!” he shouted, waving from the caboose of the Holiday Train as he rode out of sight at 8:30 p.m.
The Holiday Train had departed from San Francisco at 4 p.m., stopping first in Burlingame, Redwood City and Mountain View. On Sunday the Holiday Train visited Millbrae, San Mateo, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale.
Caltrain partnered with The Silicon Valley Community Foundation and other generous donors to sponsor the Holiday Train. The Salvation Army of Santa Clara filled 15 big Santa sacks of donated toys destined for distribution to needy children through the Family Giving Tree.
The next Santa Clara Santa sighting will be at breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at the Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St. The cost to non-residents is $14, and pre-registration is required. Call for information: (408) 615-3140.