The Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department hosted its annual Santa parades Dec. 8-11.
The events collected monetary donations and more than 90,000 pounds of non-perishable food items for Hope Church in Blaine and Ralph Reeder Food Shelf in Mounds View. The amount set a record for the department.
The department had four Santa parades: East Blaine on Dec. 8, TPC and The Lakes neighborhoods Dec. 9, Spring Lake Park and Mounds View Dec. 10 and west Blaine Dec. 11. The west Blaine parade was supposed to be Dec. 7, but it was postponed minutes before it was about to start due to COVID-19 concerns.
Public health measures were taken during the parades. There were no viewing stations, and face masks and social distancing were highly encouraged during the outdoor event. Donations were collected on the curb so viewers and volunteers could be physically distanced from each other.
Dozens of volunteer SBM firefighters and Allina EMTs participated in the parades, which included fire trucks, ambulances and other vehicles that were decorated with lights. Santa and Mrs. Claus also made an appearance at the parades in a sleigh.