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Skydiving Santa Gives Christmas a Flying Start in Shenandoah

skydiving Santa Claus makes an entrance at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Shenandoah

Santa Claus is one guy who knows how to make an entrance. And he really made one of those entrances Friday in Shenandoah.

About 4,000 feet above Veterans Memorial Stadium, Santa Claus leapt from an airplane and skydived into the stadium.

As he touched down on the stadium grass, Santa extended his legs forward and slid on his jolly ol’ backside for a literal safe landing.

A skydiving elf leads the way for Santa Claus in Shenandoah during the 16th Skydiving Santa event at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday afternoon. (Coal Region Canary photos)

It’s an event that’s uniquely Shenandoah and a remarkable beginning to the Christmas season here in the coal region.

The Skydiving Santa event is organized by Mrs. T’s Pierogies. The 2023 jump was the 16th event of its kind in Shenandoah.

The flying Santa Claus was preceded by a pair of skydiving elves. They and the skydiving St. Nick are actually members of the Maytown Sport Parachute Club, of Marietta, Lancaster County.

Santa and his elves had a ground crew at the stadium a few hours prior to their celebratory leap. They were constantly monitoring conditions on the ground, especially the wind speed, to ensure a safe landing for the holiday high-flyers.

Hundreds of people poured into the stadium more than an hour prior to today’s big jump. While they all waited for Santa to make his Yuletide sky surf, there was plenty of entertainment available.

SpinJammers Mobile DJs kept the spirits bright cranking out some Christmas tunes over the stadium loudspeakers.

There were opportunities for photos with Mrs. Claus, who waited on the ground for her parachuting partner, and a camo-clad Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

An artistic elf paints some holly on the cheek of Jeimy Fadule, Shenandoah, at the 16th Skydiving Santa event in Shenandoah on Friday.

Face painters were also on hand to decorate faces with some holiday cheer.

The Shenandoah Valley Marching Band was on hand to lead the firetruck parade through the borough after Santa made his big landing.

At the stadium, the band and band boosters operated a concession stand – complete with hot chocolate, coffee, donuts, cookies, and more – as a fundraiser.

After Santa landed, he quickly prepared for that parade as he rode atop an antique firetruck through Shenandoah.

The parade wound its way to Borough Hall where he was greeted by dozens of eager children and families who shared their wish lists for Christmas this year.

The parade and visits with Santa was organized by employees at Borough Hall.

Later in the evening, the Christmas cheer continued in Shenandoah. Downtown Shenandoah Inc. hosted a Coal Cracker Christmas event that featured a horse-drawn trolley, a rendition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a model train display and more.

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