A Christmas tradition that’s lasted more than 30 years will continue Friday when Santa Claus arrives in downtown Lawrence.
As always, the first person to greet the man in red will be a Lawrence firefighter. At 6:15 p.m. Santa is expected to magically appear on the roof of Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Mass., and be rescued via fire truck ladder.
Santa then will make his way to a stage in front of US Bank, 900 Mass., where he will visit with children and pose for pictures.
Thousands of people traditionally gather downtown in the area of Ninth and Massachusetts streets for the event.
“It gets pretty crowded,” Downtown Lawrence director Jane Pennington said.
Activities leading to Santa’s arrival begin at 5 p.m.
“We’ll have the Vaudeville clown and strolling singers,” Pennington said.
The strolling singers will be two groups, the Dickens Carolers and the Yuletide Carolers, also known by the name Sassie Mae and the Cornertones. They will move to the stage at the bank at 5:30 p.m. for more singing.
At 6 p.m. Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever will read a proclamation declaring Nov. 28 Red Kettle Kick-off Day, referring to the Salvation Army’s annual holiday season fundraising drive.
A countdown to turning on the downtown Christmas lights will precede Santa’s arrival.