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Fri, Feb. 28

Santa on high: Second grade students receive special visit and gifts at Squire Inn

Santa and Mrs. Claus, played by Taylor Lipscomb and Tracy D’Albini, made a grand entrance via helicopter. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

Santa and Mrs. Claus, played by Taylor Lipscomb and Tracy D’Albini, made a grand entrance via helicopter. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

TUSAYAN, Ariz. – Santa and Mrs. Claus didn’t parade in on their sleigh Thursday morning at the Best Western Premiere Grand Canyon Squire Inn, but instead an AS 350 B3e helicopter breezed them to their landing as students from the Grand Canyon School waited eagerly for their arrival.

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Several grade school classes from the Grand Canyon School arrived to see the Santa Fly-In at the Best Western Premiere Squire Inn in Tusayan. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

Landing in the parking lot adjacent to the hotel, the children, teachers and some parents watched from the third floor as the merry couple exited the helicopter for the Annual Santa Fly-in. Taylor Lipscomb and Tracy D’Albini, both Best Western Squire employees posed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

“Along with the arrival of Santa Claus we then provide events and a snack of cookies, milk and chocolate milk,” said David White, Human Resources director and coordinator of the event.

Children also had the opportunity to have photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.”

Also included in the merriment were gifts of bagged fruit and scarves hand-made by Rebecca Rocha, a member of American Legion Auxiliary.

“Every year we partner with the Best Western Squire Inn for the Santa Fly-In and we present these gifts,” said Scott Miller, American Legion past Vice Commander Area C.

“It’s our favorite day of the year,” said Juliana Fontenot, who was attending with her children. “The kids are so excited to see Santa Claus and it’s such a joy and so special. For some kids this is their only opportunity to see Santa and get a gift.”

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First-grader, Mondi Owens, 7, attended the event with his mom and dad. From left: Rebecca Rocha, Santa Claus (Taylor Lipscomb), Mondi Owens, Mrs. Claus (Tracy D’Albini) and Scott Miller. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

Jennifer Schoch, mother of two school-age children said, “This is great, I’ve never seen anyone put on an event like this. We moved here from Phoenix so this small town feel is wonderful.”

Also in attendance was a member of the Tusayan Fire District, Kate Maragos.

“We love to be a part of community events and to show our support. We try to do whatever we can to support the families of our community,” she said.

“Here at the Squire we love having Santa flying in and have all the kids energy coming into our hotel,” Said David Chavez, Best Western Premiere Grand Canyon Squire Inn general manager. “It’s beautiful and this year was perfect. We can’t wait to do again next year.”

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