Annually West Hennepin Public Safety holds a View Santa Event organized by our Reserve Officers. The event entails escorting Santa through out town giving citizens a chance to see Santa. During the event we collect donations for the local food shelf.
View Santa is an annual community event that has been sponsored by the West Hennepin Public Safety Reserves for over 35 years on the first or second Saturday in December. It actually started some time before that (exact year unknown) when it was created and presented by the Maple Plain Lions Club prior to the formation of the West Hennepin PSD Reserve Officer Program in 1981, when the reserves adopted the program.
Santa in his sleigh, accompanied by holiday music, is escorted by West Hennepin Public Safety officers in squad cars while reserve officers on foot, in the role of “Santa’s helpers,” hand out small treat bags with a holiday message to citizens young and old. In the 1980s, the reserves prepared and handed out small bags of candy and a card, along with toys donated by the Carlson Company, a direct marketing and product fulfillment company which was based in Maple Plain. The company moved out in the early 1990s. Since that time, the reserves continue to hand out small bags of candy with a couple of small treats inside.
In a few of the early years, the route included a portion of Independence as well as much of the city of Maple Plain. It was soon shortened to include only the Maple Plain portion, due to the higher population concentration. The shortened route was about five miles long. In 2005, the route was again extended to include a small section of Independence and the route is currently about nine miles long. In 1997, the reserves began collecting food donations along the route, helping to fill the local food shelf for the holiday season. In recent years, we have collected over 1,000 pounds of food per year, as well as some cash donations. All of the food and money goes directly to the Maple Plain Area Food Shelf, based out of the Maple Plain Community Church.
The event has been held as scheduled regardless of weather conditions, except for one year where air temperatures were about -30°F. That year, it was postponed one week until the temperature was a more reasonable 0°F or so. There have been warm years, cold years, snowing years, years with icy roads and even a couple years where Santa’s trailer was pulled by horses. Regardless the weather, it has been a magical and fun event to start off the month of December each year.
THE WEST HENNEPIN PUBLIC SAFETY RESERVES ARE SPONSORING THE 39th ANNUAL “VIEW SANTA” PROGRAM. IT WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7th, 2019. THE RESERVES WILL ALSO COLLECT NONPERISHABLE FOOD DONATIONS FOR LOCAL FOOD SHELVES.
CHECK THE TIMES CAREFULLY AS THEY HAVE CHANGED, ESPECIALLY AT THE END OF THE ROUTE.
COME TO THE INDEPENDENCE CITY HALL PARKING LOT (1920 COUNTY ROAD 90) FROM 3:45 TO 4:15 P.M. OR TO VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK (1664 BUDD AVENUE, MAPLE PLAIN) FROM 4:45 TO 5:30 P.M. TO MEET SANTA AND TAKE PHOTOS, OR SEE SANTA ON HIS ROUTE THROUGH TOWN.