Much like the rest of the world, Santa’s helpers impacted by pandemic


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Clyde Oster is ready to continue his holiday tradition wearing his red suit, jingle bells, and freshly trimmed beard.

Oster is one of Santa’s helpers bringing Christmas cheer to Wichita, even if this year looks a little different.

“They got plexiglass, people can only come on the outside. I still can wave to them and hi, hi, them! It still gives the kids the time and see Santa,” he said.

Oster says they are getting creative to give something sweet.

“They got it set to where I could still drop candy canes for them.”

While excited to bring cheer, many helpers of the big man say they are making safety a priority.

“You’re looking for precautions for the children, and you’re looking for precautions for the people around, especially Santas,” said Dan Hagenbuch.

Stan Russell has been one of Santa’s helpers for 25 years. He says this year they will be doing more than checking more than the naughty and nice list.

“She’s going to take temperatures when people come in. No adults will actually be in the studio with me, it’ll just be the kids. She’s explaining if you’ve been sick or feel sick don’t come.”

This crew of Santa’s helpers say normally their schedule is booked through the holiday season. However, many events have been cancelled.

Some of St. Nick’s oldest helpers stepping back from big events for their healthy.

“I told them this year. I just cant we’re talking about doing some Zoom-type Santa visits,” Russell said.


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