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