Children around the world have to wait three more weeks for Santa Claus to fly into their towns via reindeer power.
Bradenton kids are lucky. Santa will be flying into G.T. Bray park on Saturday.
Of course, Santa will be visiting kids all over between now and Christmas Eve, but he’s usually just sitting in some mall waiting for people to come to him. Bradenton is one of the few places in the world where families can watch him make a spectacular entrance by helicopter.
The event is the annual “A Night before Christmas” at G.T. Bray Park. (It runs from 4 until 7 p.m. Saturday, so it’s actually more like “an early evening three weeks before Christmas,” but apparently organizers didn’t think that had a ring to it.) A lot of people consider it the start to the Christmas season in Bradenton.
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Santa’s copter is scheduled to land right at 4 p.m., so it’s a good idea to get there early if you want to snag a good spot to greet the big guy.
Santa’s arrival will no doubt be the high point of the event, but there’s plenty of other stuff to do after the kids give their Christmas wish lists to Santa. There will be a lots of family activities, including face painting, bounce houses, an 18-foot inflatable slide, a trampoline power jump, hayrides and cookie crafts.
Besides Santa, the main attraction is a rare chance to experience snow in Bradenton. Ten tons of it, in fact. But the temperatures are expected to be in 80s so it may start melting quickly.
Details: 4 p.m. Dec. 3, G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton. Activities wristbands are $7.50. 941-742-5923.