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updated: 11/9/2017 9:00 PM

Santa arrives via ATV to Gurnee Mills

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  • During Santa's Arrival Parade on Thursday evening at Gurnee Mills, Santa navigated through the mall in a police ATV followed by a throng of children and their parents.

      During Santa's Arrival Parade on Thursday evening at Gurnee Mills, Santa navigated through the mall in a police ATV followed by a throng of children and their parents.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Eleven-month-old Zi'arris Bishop looks up at Santa Claus while he talks to A'ryne Wilbourn, 4, of Lake Villa after Santa's Arrival Parade Thursday evening at Gurnee Mills. Santa navigated through the mall in a police ATV followed by a throng of children and their parents.

      Eleven-month-old Zi'arris Bishop looks up at Santa Claus while he talks to A'ryne Wilbourn, 4, of Lake Villa after Santa's Arrival Parade Thursday evening at Gurnee Mills. Santa navigated through the mall in a police ATV followed by a throng of children and their parents.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • A crowd of children listen to Santa Claus read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" after Santa's Arrival Parade Thursday evening at Gurnee Mills. Santa navigated through the mall in a police ATV followed by a throng of children and their parents.

      A crowd of children listen to Santa Claus read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" after Santa's Arrival Parade Thursday evening at Gurnee Mills. Santa navigated through the mall in a police ATV followed by a throng of children and their parents.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

A large crowd of children and their parents sang "Jingle Bells" as they followed Santa Claus waving from a Gurnee police ATV through the halls of Gurnee Mills Thursday.

Santa's Arrival Parade was a kickoff for the holiday season, where Santa navigated around the mall before arriving at the Macy's Wing Dining Pavilion.

"This is the first time that we've done an event quite like this, a Santa Arrival Parade. The goal was to bring some cheer and kick off the holiday season," said Gurnee Mills marketing director Elizabeth Striegel. "The kids seemed to really enjoy it. To see the kids' faces light up when they see Santa is magical."

After the parade, children sat and listened to Santa while he read the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," often called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Various merry activities are planned at Gurnee Mills through Christmas Eve, including time with Santa where children can tell him their gift wishes and capture photo memories from the Simon Santa Photo Experience.

Children can visit with Santa anytime during Gurnee Mills' hours of operations.

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