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NNSL Photo/graphic

Ethan Subgut,6,was fortunate enough to spend some one-on-one time with the big guy as Santa visited Rankin Inlet this past week. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

You better not pout

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 14/05) - Shaking with belly laughs to chants of Santa, Santa - the Jolly Old Elf made his annual pre-Christmas appearance in Rankin Inlet this past week.

The Santa Run, sponsored by Canadian North airlines, has become a highly-anticipated event in Rankin.

Randy Miller is the airline's regional manager in Rankin.

He says Santa's visit went quite well, considering everything didn't go according to plan.

Flight ran late

"I was a little disappointed the flight ran a bit late, and Santa's time on the ground was a little on the tight side, but everything worked out well," says Miller.

"My volunteers for Santa's visit are always great, but this year they did an especially good job.

"They helped so much in getting all the treat bags to the kids and I'm really grateful for their efforts.

"Nobody went away disappointed ... everyone who wanted to spend a bit of time with Santa got to see him."

Although pressed for time, Santa managed to answer a few questions before hurrying on his way.

He says things have been hectic at the North Pole this year as the elves try to keep up with all the new technology in today's world.

"Yes, Santa had to send a few elves back to school to learn about all these new gizmos, so I wasn't all that popular with the elves for awhile there, ho, ho, ho," said Santa with a laugh.

"But, you know, they soon learned the importance of going to school every day and learning more about the world around them, so that made Santa feel good.

"Even Mrs. Claus didn't seem to mind packing a couple of hundred lunches every morning, ho, ho, ho."

Miller says the airline is proud the Santa Run remains so popular in Rankin and that it has become an annual part of Christmas in the community.

"Santa's visit can be a little stressful for me because I know how much the kids look forward to seeing him and I'm always worried about the weather and whether he'll be able to land or not.

"But it sure is a lot of fun for everyone.

"There's always lots of parents out with their cameras and video recorders to get a shot of their child with Santa and that's nice to see."