Santa makes for a holly, jolly holiday at Parks and Rec's breakfast

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 13, 2012 

Hundreds of children were up early Saturday morning to see the big man himself -- Santa Claus.

"I wanted a phone and an iPad, and an iPod," 6-year-old April Cunha of Los Banos said, when asked about her conversation with Santa.

April's father, Joe, chuckled at her ambitious request.

"Not asking for much," he joked.

The Los Banos Parks and Recreation Division offered Breakfast with Santa on Saturday at the Los Banos Community Center, and 372 children and parents accepted.

Scott Brady, a program supervisor, said the division sold about 300 tickets prior to Saturday. He supervised as a crew of division employees made about 1,000 scrambled eggs, 800 pancakes and as many slices of ham.

Recreation coordinator Rob Baker said the meal is the division's biggest earner for the year. It brought in about $3,100, which topped the goal by $100. Baker said the event outsold last year's, but carries an average of 400 tickets sold.

The division moved the breakfast up by a few weeks after low attendance in 2011. Baker said it's tougher to sell tickets if children are already on winter vacation.

Since Los Banos doesn't have a mall, it doesn't have the obligatory mall Santa to pose for pictures and take children's wish lists.

"This is pretty much the only place to see Santa," Baker said.

Children took pictures with Santa and gave him their requests, and some made Christmas tree ornaments.

Bobby DeVore, 6, of Los Banos wasn't picky. Sitting on Santa's lap, wearing a San Francisco 49ers beanie and gloves, he had one request for Old St. Nick.

"49ers stuff," he said.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanosenterprise.com.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanosenterprise.com.

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