SHELTON - Santa Claus braved the gusty winds and rain to make his annual visit to the White Hills section of the city Saturday.
White Hills Fire Company held its community tree lighting, but without the crowds that normally gather for the holiday celebration. Instead, the fire company asked those in the White Hills area to stay home and light up their homes at the same moment that the tree at the firehouse was lit at 6:30 p.m.
The tree lighting and Santa's visit also kicked off the Toys 4 Kids Drive, collections for which will run through Dec. 13.
Each year through Shelton residents' generosity, White Hills volunteer firefighter and Toys 4 Kids coordinator Mike Kellett said the fire company provides truckloads of new, unwrapped toys for families in need.
Kellett said residents who took a video of their lights are asked to share it on the White Hills Fire Company Facebook page under #Communitytreelighting.
On Dec. 12, Santa will be escorted by his helpers on a fire truck through the White Hills of Shelton from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Santa and his helpers will be tossing out popcorn balls to children during the tour. The trip begins in Upper White Hills and ends in Lower White Hills.
Kellett said firefighters will follow Santa's truck collecting toys. The firefighters will collect new unwrapped toys for distribution by Team Inc.
"Although, Company Five has only been collecting toys since the 1990s, Santa has been driving thru White Hills with the Fire Company for well more than 50 years," Kellett said. "2020 has been a trying year. We hope Santa's visit lifts spirits as we enter the holiday season and look forward to a more healthy new year."
Donations can be made online.