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Sitting Down With Santa

The big guy is slated to make an appearance in Bend, high above the entrance to the Tower Theatre. We checked in with him to find out what he's up to.

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Sitting on Santa's lap is something of an annual tradition—that is, unless there's a protracted global pandemic. To get kids (OK, adults, too) in the spirit, the folks at the Tower Theatre alerted us to the upcoming Santa sighting starting Dec. 20 in downtown Bend. Then, we managed to track down the big guy himself to find out what's in store.

Source Weekly: Tell us what you're planning over at the Tower Theatre.

Santa: From Monday to Wednesday, December 20 to 22, I just wanted to go out and see the folks that are there in the Bend area doing Christmas shopping. You know, I love Bend, when I get a chance to get away from North Pole and hang out there. It's a beautiful place and you know, just I like to see people. I like to tell them that they're doing well and I give him a little bit of cheer, a little bit of hope, little bit of peace this year. A little bit of joy amid all of the other stuff going on.

Santa blows a cool yule next to another downtown Bend fixture. - COURTESY JILL WELLINGTON/PIXABAY
  • Courtesy Jill Wellington/Pixabay
  • Santa blows a cool yule next to another downtown Bend fixture.

SW: How are you going to be set up?

Santa: It's going to be a little unique. The Tower roof is flat, so I'm able to land the reindeer right on it. And then, the marquee is flat as well. They do have a harness for me, which is a really good thing, because in my old age, I'm losing my balance sometimes, but I'm going to be up there and I will be able to see all the people there at Wall Street—be able look out actually really across this way to where the Birkenstock shop is and see Plankers and just kind of catch people's eye there. I will be on the west side of the street. Should be a good time to see a lot of people there.

SW: What are you going to say to the kids who see you up there and want to sit on your lap?

Santa: The kiddos cannot get up there unless they have their own set of reindeer and sleigh. But it's OK—I'll be able to interact with them a little bit. I could see the ones that are the good little boys and girls, and I'll be able to call out some people—I may even have a list of the naughty and the nice with me, and maybe call people out. It'll be good just to remind them of what the season is all about. Encourage them to be good boys and girls this year to be able to get outside of themselves. So, to love other people to give to other people and to just make the holiday bright.

SW: We're journalists here at the Source—so I have to know, who's going to be on the naughty list among the local characters?

Santa: Well, you know, I know that you're a journalist and that's an important thing to do, but it's like, if you publish the list, those people may not ever have a chance to get back on the nice list. And so, other people might not give them a chance. I would think that anybody on the naughty list is going to be somebody who is just selfish this year. If people are out there being Scrooge, and not really feeling the spirit, if they're not looking after other people's interests and loving on their community, they're going to end up on the naughty list.

SW: Will people be able to leave their lists with you?

Santa: I hadn't thought of that, but boy, that's a great idea, Nicole. And I think that that might have landed you more on the nice list.

SW: Oh shoot. I was in danger of being on the naughty list?!

Santa: Well, yeah, you know, but with good ideas like that... helping Santa is always a great thing to do, especially this time of year, you know, just in case.

SW: OK, good to know. We'll keep that in mind, Santa.

Look for Santa atop the marquee at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend Dec. 20 to 22 from 4pm to 5:30pm each night. Plus, kids can send their letters to Santa by tagging #TowerSanta on Social Media.

Santa at the Tower
Mon., Dec. 20-Wed., Dec. 22. 4-5:30pm
835 NW Wall St., Bend


About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)

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