Santa arrives at local business to kick off annual event for shoppers

Business & Money

AMMON – Cabela’s in Ammon is a flurry of activity with vehicles from Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office parked outside.

Santa Claus arrived at the store Saturday afternoon for the kickoff celebration of the store’s third annual Santa Wonderland experience. He officially arrived from the north pole at 4 p.m. Deputies were there to escort him in a Bearcat for a drive-by event.

Company spokeswoman Taryn Wright tells people can’t wait to see him.

“There’s a huge line in front of the store. We have cars lined up, waiting to drive by. We had a lot of families show up who just wanted to walk up and drop off letters and get hot cocoa. It was pretty packed.”

Beginning Sunday, Santa will be available for pictures and in-store visits every day until Dec. 24. A clear protective barrier will be in place between Santa and shoppers to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Families will stand in a designated area away from other shoppers with winter wonderland-themed floor decals and signage.

Reservations are required, so spots are limited.

“We have spots left, but it’s filling up fast,” says Wright.

Santa will be available from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. About a week before Christmas, he’ll be there all day.

Watch the video above to see how it works.

There’s still time to attend the kickoff celebration. Santa and his elves will be in front of the store waving to kids and passing out hot cocoa, candy canes and crafts until 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Sheriff’s Office is also there raising funds for Shop with a Cop, an annual event that allows deputies to shop with children who otherwise may not have been able to have a Christmas.

RELATED | Keeping the Christmas Spirit alive at Shop With A Cop in Idaho Falls

“They’re asking for stocking stuffers, and money donations are welcome too,” Wright says. “They’re (trying to help) 30 families. The stockings are for the kids and they’re going to do the shopping for the families with the money.”

Facemasks are required and temperature checks will be given at the door for all those who enter. Santa’s team of elves will clean all surfaces between each visit and ensure all safety measures are being implemented correctly.

“This event is near and dear to our heart,” she says. “We’ve put a lot of time into thinking about how we can stay safe with COVID and still give kids a chance to come see Santa and keep this tradition alive. It’s exciting that (we’re making this happen).”

Cabela’s is at 3693 South 25th East in Ammon. For more information or to make a reservation, click here.

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