Thrifty Thurston – Lights, Sirens and Santa

santa firetruck
In between running calls on a busy shift, Firefighter Aaron Hammond, Lt. Ryan Fox, and Firefighter Eric Sapp enjoyed decorating this year's Lacey Fire District 3's Santamobile.

Santa on a fire truck travels around Thurston County this month.

It is December in Thurston County, which means that two of the most beloved (large and red) icons of childhood will once again join forces to spread holiday cheer throughout the streets.

van dorm sponsorFive local fire departments will continue their tradition of jolly old St. Nick on an engine this season – check the list (twice!) to see if Santa will visit a neighborhood near you.

Lacey Fire District Three

Lacey Fire has a long history of the “Santamobile,” a vintage fire truck that carries the jolly old elf himself to neighborhoods throughout Lacey. Battalion chief, Tim Hulse, helped to decorate this year’s twinkling firetruck sleigh. “The Santamobile has always been a significant part of Lacey Fire District Three’s connection with our community. And it is one that the residents of Lacey cherish,” he says.

lacey fire santa
Lacey Fire’s Santa Fire Truck brings holiday cheer to neighborhoods throughout the district.

Hulse’s fondest memory of participating in the longstanding Lacey tradition is the year that Hulse, as a rookie 24-year-old firefighter, and his wife, Jennifer, dressed up as Christmas’s favorite couple (complete with many pillows for stuffing). “We were pretty thin, and very young,” Hulse reminisces. “But the experience of playing Santa and Mrs. Claus is one we will always remember.”

Check out Lacey’s Santamobile schedule for 2015 here. But, be sure to double check Lacey Fire District Three’s Facebook page for updates, because if the weather outside is frightful, they may just reschedule Santa’s route.

Tumwater Fire Department

For more than twenty years, Tumwater Fire’s Santa Mobile has brought good cheer to the streets of Tumwater. This year, St. Nick will be riding on Tumwater’s antique fire truck through December 19 and, as usual, will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Thurston County Food Bank. It is Tumwater Fire’s tradition to at least attempt to visit every single street in the city – weather permitting.

santa firetruck
Malia Eggers, 4, of Tumwater, looks forward to Santa’s visit with great anticipation each year. Photo credit: Lisa Eggers.

Tumwater resident, Lisa Eggers, and her family have enjoyed Santa’s annual visit to her neighborhood over the years. “Though chilly, it is fun to witness the kids’ anticipation and visit with the neighbors while we await Santa’s arrival,” Eggers explains. “My girls are always impressed with the candy canes adorning the ‘sleigh’ and also enjoy donating food to the foodbank via Santa and his helpers.”

Check out Santa’s Tumwater schedule here. And visit Tumwater Fire Department’s website for updates about weather and schedule changes. 

East Olympia Fire District 6

East Olympia Fire serves the communities east of the city limits of Tumwater and southeast of the city limits of Olympia and Lacey, and North of the city limits of Tenino covering 30 square miles. Through December 10, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Santa and his elves will be travelling through those neighborhoods on an East Oly fire truck to distribute holiday good cheer and to collect food and monetary donation for some very special adopted Christmas families from the community.

lacey fire santa
Firefighters are known for their attention to detail, and that goes for the meticulous adorning of Lacey Fire’s Vintage Santamobile as well.

Find the details of Santa’s route in East Olympia here.

Griffin Fire

Griffin Fire Department will be running a Santa Fire Truck on December 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Holiday Valley area. Additionally, on December 19 at 6:00 p.m., Santa will be visiting the Carlyon Beach Neighborhood. And be sure to stop by Griffin’s main fire station, 13-1, for a Holiday Open House at 5:30 p.m. on December 18. Rumor has it that Santa will be there to pass out candy canes and holiday cheer.

McLane Black Lake Fire Department

The McLane Black Lake Fire Department, which proudly serves the areas northwest and southwest of Olympia, will also be running their Santa Fire Truck again this Christmas. Santa will leave the fire station at 5:30 p.m. each night and drive through the streets spreading holiday cheer to residents from Cooper Point Road all the way to Summit Lake. Sleighs run through December 10, so check out the specific schedule of both the North and South Santa Sleighs here for more details.

Santa Claus is coming to Thurston County in a big way this season. So watch out, don’t cry, collect some candy, sing a carol or two and possibly even donate to a good cause when Santa Fire Truck visits your neighborhood this December.

Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County. The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, visit our complete event calendar.

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