Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — What do you want for Christmas? And better yet, did you tell Santa Claus?
Hundreds of people lined up to do exactly that Saturday during the annual Christmas Walk in the Village of Lewiston, after, of course, the symbol of the season arrived by helicopter on a brisk but sunny morning.
The experience as a whole has become tradition for many of the people who line the safety perimeter to see the helicopter land and wave to Santa as he exits.
“We came last year and it was a lot of fun,” Colleen Uschold said. “I just love the excitement on the kids’ faces.”
Uschold made it a family affair with her son, Michael, 4, by her side. Michael’s aunt, Kathy Occhino, and cousin, Matthew, also 4, joined them from Rochester to see the event. Occhino said they’ve made the trip to Lewiston each of the past three years.
As for the children, they knew exactly what they wanted from Santa come Dec. 25. Michael said he wanted a toy train set, while Matthew is wishing for Nerf gun, capable of shooting small arrows.
Waiting for their turn to say hello to the village’s special visitor, Shawn Carr, of Lewiston, and his two children gathered their thoughts before stepping up to the man’s lap. His daughter, 7, said she’d be asking for Rainbow Loom, a jewelry-making apparatus to create rubber band bracelets and more.
His son, 2, said he wants Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fun this Christmas, but appeared to get cold feet just before visiting Santa, asking Dad to tell him instead.
Of course, the Christmas Walk is more than just a chance to see the jolly elf. It’s also a chance for the village’s various businesses to take advantage of a larger-than-normal crowd of foot traffic. And, despite the sub-freezing temperatures, many were taking full advantage.