By Renee Wood
Santa Claus has been soaked into Christmas traditions for centuries, but Coldstream residents have been lucky enough to create their own local tradition with the man in red and the local CFA on Christmas Eve.
Captain Sean Bethell said crews have been touring with Santa through the area on December 24 for several years to bring joy local families to enjoy.
“Coldstream’s been doing this for a very long time, I think probably between 15 and 20 years and we’ve always done it on Christmas Eve.
“The start time is 4.30pm and we’re usually pack up around 7.30pm, so those really young kids are usually just about ready for bed for Santa to have his visit during the night,” he said.
The trucks will drive through the estate and along Killara Road, Ingram Road and parts of Maroondah Highway, Melba Highway and Rudduck Lane and Station Street.
“We’ve got to do this Covid safe so Santa will be mainly staying on the vehicle and if children want their photo taken with Santa, Santa will remain on the truck and children could be on the side of the truck with Santa up above them.”
Gold coin donations will also be welcomed along the journey, to go towards the final instalments for the new station.
“That’ll be in the way of turn out systems, helping automate some of the things, also some of the new gardens that have to be finished off as well.”
Captain Bethell expects the crew may be moving in early in the new year and is the brigade is currently looking for new recruits to join.
“Any members of the public that are wishing to donate their time by becoming a member drop into your local CFA fire stations, not just Coldstream but throughout the whole of the Yarra Valley.
“Every brigades always looking for new members so they’re more than welcome to drop in and see what we do and see if it’s something they’re interested in doing.”