UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

Santa’s sleigh stops by the seashore

Lesli Cokley

The Signal Staff

The Historic Downtown Strand Seaport Partnership held its 3rd annual Santa by the Sea Nov. 28 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Santa Claus’s sleigh touched down in Galveston to help bring in the holiday season and to wish a very Merry Christmas to all the boys and girls in the area, who, he said, have been “very, very good this year.”

This year Santa Claus heard requests for everything from toys to puppy dogs to a pet mouse.

“I want a puppy,” said Hunter Peck, 4, who plans to name his puppy Penelope.  Hunter, an outgoing youngster, was the very first one out of his group to sit on Santa’s lap and announce to Santa what he wanted for Christmas. He also said he had been “very, very good this year.”

“I want an Erector set,” said Garret Terpstra, 8.

He enjoys using the metal beams, screws, nuts and bolts to build “cool new designs” like Ferris wheels, cranes and skyscrapers.

Santa was interested in hearing all the children’s requests. In fact he had a special request himself: “please do not rush me with each kid,” Santa said.
He wanted enough time to allow all the children to tell him what they have been waiting to tell him all year.

“I’m really happy for kids to get a good education and do good in school and I’m very proud of all the girls and boys,” Santa Claus said. “If you do good in school and are good at home you are more likely to get all the presents you want, so that’s why it’s so important to mind your p’s and q’s during the year.”

The Nesquik Bunny, known as Chip, from the Nestle Toll House Café in downtown Galveston, was also on hand to add some holiday cheer for the children.  Chip had coupons for the kids to stop by after visiting with Santa to get a free treat at the Nestle Toll House Café.

“This is a very good event for families to come out and see Santa for free and take their own pictures, and they don’t have to pay for them,” said Lesley Sommer, executive director of the Partnership. “We have had a surprisingly good turn out this year.”

After Santa by the Sea, Santa traveled to Saengerfest Park for the official downtown tree lighting, which took place at 7 p.m. at 23rd Street on The Strand.  If you missed Santa by the Sea this year, the Partnership holds this event every year.  For more information, visit www.downtowngalveston.org.

The Partnership is a non profit corporation that was established in 1984 to help restore the economic vitality and physical attractiveness of historic downtown Galveston, also referred to as the central business district.

This 70-plus square block district’s boundaries are 19th Street (eastern), 26th Street (western), Broadway (southern) and the waterfront (northern, Piers 19-25).

The Partnership has helped to improve the district’s appearance by sponsoring cleaning initiatives and promoting the benefits of affirmative building and site maintenance.  As most of the historic buildings in the district are now restored and occupied, the Partnership’s emphasis has shifted toward the promotion of downtown business, i.e., staging events to draw more tourists and residents into the district.

Videographer: Vivian Volirakis
Reporter: Lesli Cokley
Special thanks to Lesley Sommers and Santa