BATTLE CREEK, MI - Santa Claus sprang to life in Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem, “The Night Before Christmas” complete with rosy cheeks, twinkling eyes and white beard. In 1865, illustrator Thomas Nast perfected this Santa and introduced Mrs. Claus and a hard-working band of elves. Fast-forward to the 1930s, when Coca-Cola made Santa’s look universal by portraying him in ads that ran worldwide.

On Saturday, Nov. 21, at noon, the Battle Creek Fire Department will deliver the very-familiar, 21st-century Santa to the Lakeview Square Mall’s main entrance off Beckley Road.

With lights flashing and sirens blaring, Santa Claus and his firefighting buddies will circle the shopping center to alert all of his impending arrival. Harper Creek Junior Cheer team will be on hand to lead the crowd in rousing cheers.

            Children are invited to gather at the shopping center’s main entrance near the food court to welcome the jolly symbol of the holidays.  Santa will then make his way to his temporary holiday home, joining the Teddy Bear Symphony, in center court.

            Refreshments, courtesy of Mrs. Field’s and Pretzel Maker, will be available from noon to 1 p.m., in center court, while supplies last.

             During the holiday season, Santa will be in residence at his holiday home where excited youngsters will share their Christmas wishes.  All children visiting Santa throughout the holidays will receive an activity book, crayons and elf headband.

            While visiting Santa is free, of course, state-of-the-art digital photography packages will be available so that the precious moments are saved forever on film. Photos are viewable immediately and different photography packages are available.

            Santa will be in residence at Lakeview Square Mall until Thursday, Dec. 24.

            More information about extended holiday hours, Santa’s hours, stores and services is available at www.lakeviewsquare.com or (269) 979-2225.