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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: Santa

Today’s highlights

After they had their picture taken, twins, Maddie and Erik Cathcart, 2, tell Santa what they want for Christmas at River Park Square on Saturday. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Happy Thursday, everyone. It's almost Christmas, which means we have a couple Christmas-themed stories for you in today's Valley Voice. Correspondent Cindy Hval interviewed Santa, AKA Jim Burney, who has been donning his red, fur-trimmed suit for 39 years. These days he can be found at River Park Square in downtown Spokane. I hear he's even a Seahawks fan. He even dishes about his favorite reindeer in a quick Q&A.

Correspondent Jill Barville was at the Spokane International Airport for a Fantasy Flight to the North Pole for local children. The 63 children on the flight were nominated by local social service agencies. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on autistic Barker High School student Jonathan Finck, who has his colorful art on display in the school's hallway. His fellow students enjoy watching him work.

The city of Spokane Valley is looking at an annual funding shortfall of $3 million for street preservation projects. The city has been spending about $4 million a year but should be spending $7 million, a recent study of street conditions showed.

Tracking Santa on radar

This is a fun thing for the kids. The annual North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa page is up and running and will track Santa on Christmas Eve as he makes his way across the globe. Tracking will begin at midnight (MST); click here to see the site. It also includes games and activities in multiple languages. There are free Santa tracking apps in the iTunes store and the Android market if you want to follow Santa's progress on your phone.

According to a press release from the American Forces Press Service, this all started in 1955 when Sears published an ad that included a phone number to call Santa. The phone number was misprinted, though, and children ended up calling the Continental Air Defense Command operations center (which preceded NORAD). The colonol on duy went along with the requests, giving kids updates on Santa's location.  Now the annual effort includes more than a thousand volunteers and dozens of sponsors.

With that, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I probably won't post again until Tuesday.

Santa Claus is coming to town

The Spokane Valley Fire Department's Santa van is ready to roll again. The white van squires Santa around the Spokane Valley area every winter, giving kids a chance to visit the red-robed one and whisper what they want for Christmas in his ear.

The van will be making the rounds every night from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning Tuesday and going through Dec. 22. I'll post the schedule for the first few nights now, with more to follow later.

Tuesday: north of Sprague to Mission between Pines and Evergreen

Wednesday: south of 32nd to 44th between University and Sullivan

Thursday: south of Sprague to 16th between Havana and Argonne

Friday: south of Mission to 16th between Flora and Barker

Saturday: south of 16th to 32nd between Dishman-Mica Road and Pines

Santa Claus is coming to town

And he is most certainly making his list and checking it twice. The jolly red-robed one will be touring neighborhoods in Fire District 8 south of the Spokane and Spokane Valley city limits every night this week. Since his reindeer are resting up for the big night, he will be ferried around by a fire engine.

He’ll be making the rounds from 5:30 to 8 p.m. today through Wednesday. Here’s the schedule: Today - Ponderosa neighborhood south of 44th Ave.; Tuesday - Painted Hills and Bella Vista neighborhoods, plus the Albertsons parking lot at 32nd and Highway 27; Wednesday - Saltese and Morningside neighborhoods.

The rest of the week he’ll be out and about from 5 to 8 p.m.: Thursday - Moran Prairie east of Regal and south of 57th and the Hangman Valley area; Friday - Moran Prairie west of Regal and north of 57th; Saturday - Moran Prairie west of Regal and south of 57th; Sunday - Moran Prairie east of Regal and north of 57th and the Hangman Valley area.

Any schedule updates can be found on the district’s web site.  

Santa hits the road

The jolly man himself is planning a couple of stops in the Valley area this weekend as kids start polishing their Christmas lists and trying to behave. Because he KNOWS if you’ve been bad or good.

Santa will make an appearance at the annual Millwood Christmas tree lighting Friday at 6 p.m. at Inland Empire Paper, 3320 N. Argonne. The event will include a performance by The Company Ballet Dane Troupe. There will also be hot chocolate, cookies and caroling.

On Saturday Santa is expected to attend a breakfast hosted by the Spokane Valley Rotary Club from 9 to 11 a.m. at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place. The morning includes carnival games, face painting and goody bags. Kids can have their pictures taken with Santa, who is expected to arrive at 9:30 a.m. on an engine from Spokane Valley Fire. (The reindeer have to rest up for Christmas Eve.) The breakfast is $4 at the door.

Tis the Season

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas out there. Spokesman-Review photographer Bart Rayniak took this photo at Sprague and Sullivan while he was out and about this weekend. Is it just me or does it almost look like Santa is ready to pounce?

Free pictures with Santa

Once we get through Thanksgiving it will be time to think about taking the kids to have their picture taken with Santa. Triple R Auctions will host “A Little Bit of Christmas” and offer free pictures with the jolly fellow on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at 107 N. Park Road. Those who are financially able to make a donation are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank or a new toy for the Toys for Tots program.

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Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

Stop by often to find stories, information on events received too late to print in the Valley Voice and breaking news.

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Nina Culver Nina Culver covers city of Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, Spokane County Fire District 8, Liberty Lake Police Department and the small towns of Fairfield and Rockford.

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