Santa's Holiday Hero Express

2022 Santa Parade in West St. Paul

Thanks to Clover Montessori School and Dakota County for their support.

Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’ll be riding a vintage fire truck. For the third year in a row, Santa’s Holiday Hero Express is coming to West St. Paul.

“We try to make their holidays just a little bit brighter, pun intended,” said Terry Johnson, assistant fire chief and fire marshal for South Metro Fire.

What: Santa’s Holiday Hero Express is a parade of first responders featuring vehicles decorated for the holidays and Santa Claus on a vintage fire truck. It’s a collaboration between the West St. Paul Police Department, South Metro Fire, West St. Paul’s Parks and Recreation, and M Health Fairview.

When: Thursday, December 1 from 5 to 8 p.m.

“I love it. I really enjoy this aspect of the job,” said Johnson. “People are just super excited to see you. You’re like a like a rockstar to these kids that come out and then we’ve got the trucks all decorated with Christmas lights and Santa’s in the back and it’s just heartwarming to go through the community and have that much support and really, hopefully brighten someone’s day.”

History: The parade first started in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The police department’s Laura Vaughan and Recreation Supervisor Sam Murphy were brainstorming what they could do.

“We were talking about different ways we could give back—we all know COVID-19 was horrible—and we came up with the idea together,” said Vaughan. “It’s definitely a group effort with all three departments.”

In the midst of lockdowns and canceled holiday plans, the initial parade was a huge success.

“It’s a great way to get out and engage with the community and show off our trucks and make the best of a bad situation.”

Terry Johnson

Where: The parade is routed through a number of West St. Paul neighborhoods, with a color-coded time schedule so you can know when to expect them.

Santa's Holiday Hero Express route and schedule for 2022.

More details on the Facebook event.

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