Santa on the street: Calgary man brings St. Nick to the kids

Hopkins hopes to hit dozens of Calgary communities by Christmas Eve

Dean Hopkins dressed as Santa Claus (COURTESY DEAN HOPKINS)

Standing in the bed of a pickup truck in a red and white suit and a 7-foot
Christmas tree by his side, Calgarian Dean Hopkins is doing his part to keep the magic of the holiday season alive.

Even though Christmas may not look the same this year, we can be sure of one thing.

Santa Claus is coming to town.

“From now until Christmas Eve, we’re going to take Santa Claus to the
children of this city,” said Hopkins, the founder and managing director of One Direction Calgary (1DC).

His journey across Calgary began three days ago and will take him to at
least 57 neighbourhoods in the city.

And one thing keeps him going.

“I do what I do for the children,” said Hopkins.

Spreading holiday cheer

Carly Presidente and her son had just come home from a hospital visit when she heard the music coming from Hopkins’ truck.

“All of a sudden this Santa in a truck comes barreling around the
corner,” said Presidente.

She immediately sprinted into her house to get her son.

“His face just lit up,” she said.

“I honest to God had never seen this child so happy to see something in my life,” she said.

This year has been exceptionally hard for families, said Presidente. But she believes children have had it the worst. 

“Children especially are getting hit by this the hardest,” she said.

“I mean first Halloween kind of got taken away from them and now Christmas, New Years…”

The joy that she saw on her son’s face is something she’s excited for other parents to experience. 

The Calgary Santa tour

Between Dec. 7 and Dec. 24, Hopkins will make his way across several Calgary communities. The trips typically begin around 6 p.m.

Santas Visit Schedule starts at 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. daily. All of Santa’s schedules have no routes published. Because of COVID restrictions in relation to gatherings placed upon our city. All neighborhood’s and streets are chosen at random by Santa.

From Dean Hopkins on Facebook

Below is a list of dates and areas Santa will travel:

Dec. 10 – Temple, Pinecliffe, Pineridge.

Dec. 11 – Mayland Heights, Marlborough, Forest Lawn.

Dec. 12 – Erin Woods, Lynnwood, Inglewood, Ogden.

Dec. 13 – Riverbend, Douglas Glen, Douglasdale.

Dec. 14 – McKenzie Towne, New Brighton, Auburn Bay.

Dec. 15 – Seton, Mahogany.

Dec. 16 – Chaparral, Sundance, Midnapore.

Dec. 17 – Bonavista, Acadia, Willowpark, Deer Run.

Dec. 18 – Bridlewood, Woodbine, Canyon Meadows.

Dec. 19 – Southland, Cedarbrae, Palliser, Haysboro.

Dec. 20 – Glendale, Elbow Park, Roxboro.

Dec. 21 – Lower Mount Royal, Coach Hill, Cougar Ridge.

Dec. 22 – Bowness, Kensington, Rosedale, Bridgeland.

Dec. 23 – Varsity, Ranchlands, Dalhousie.

Dec. 24 – Tuscany, Beddington, Thorncliffe Heights, Huntington Hills

11 Comments

  1. Overlooked? You realize these two people are doing this out of their own time and money to try and bring joy to as many people as they can- dedicating countless hours to do so… there are over a million people in this city and to expect them to please everyone is baffling. They don’t have to do this nor did they need to publish a list of the neighborhoods they’re planning on visiting- so since they did I’d suggest that anyone wanting to see them take some initiative. Maybe grab a hot chocolate from a drive through and observe from your vehicle in a community that’s near your home?

    • You’ll hear him! He’s playing music on some speakers and wishing everyone a happy holidays! You won’t miss him! Ahaha, he just passed McKenzie Towne at 5:40 ish.

  2. We absolutely loved the Parkland drive-through! We followed Santa in our car for a few minutes from the time he entered our neighborhood. My grandson was so excited! He said it was like being in the Christmas Chronicles movie. He even named my car “Prancer”! Thank you to Dean Hopkins and his amazing chauffeur for giving us a wonderful Christmas memory and for sharing selflessly their Christmas spirit of giving joy to strangers.

    • So awesome! He came by my house in Haysboro last night, didn’t realize it until he was already passed, but it was the best surprise to see even the back of him & his truck, but still hearing Santa & Christmas music! Such a great feeling!

  3. Oh so sad..seemes Vista Heights have overlooked..I want my son to really experience and meet Santa Claus, i guess there is no other way.. I wonder what about in Coventry hills.. anyways, wishing everyone a Merry2x Christmas!

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