By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Many kids love fire trucks, and also Santa, so if your family is celebrating Christmas, you are in luck! Several fire departments in Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County’s own Falls Church, McLean, Dunn Loring, Vienna, and Burke neighborhoods, welcome Santa in style each year by offering him rides on a fire truck! Other neighboring areas, such as Leesburg, have similar programs. These events, hosted by volunteer fire departments (VFD) are free, fun, and simple ways to spread a little holiday cheer and bring smiles to kids’ faces.
Here’s where you can catch Santa on a fire truck in 2018:
Santa also will visit neighborhoods in Burke thanks to the Burke Volunteer Fire Department! The annual Santa Run takes place on most nights December 1 through December 24. On weekdays Santa Runs take place between 6 pm and 9 pm, and on weekends between 5 pm and 9 pm. The department keeps the information updated on its website. Don’t worry about missing Santa if you’re not on his route: you also can see Santa at a Meet and Greet on Thursday, December 6, at the Fire Station and on Sunday, December 9, at Whitehall Farms. The December 6 event takes place at the fire station’s banquet hall from 7 pm to 8:30 pm; see the details on the station’s Facebook page. The December 9 event is at Whitehall Farms in Clifton from 10 am to 2 pm.
Santa usually visits some neighborhoods in McLean each year between 6 pm and 8:30 pm. These visits are weather-permitting and take place as long as it is not raining, snowing or severely cold. The McLean VFD starts its Santa runs in early December; you can see the schedule soon on its website. but one way to see Santa is during the McLean WinterFest on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, when Santa rides in the parade (which starts at 3:30 pm) on the department’s antique fire engine (also see our full list of holiday parades!)
The SantaMobile is coming soon! The Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department will escort Santa Claus through the streets of the Greater Falls Church area between 6:30 and 9:30 pm on select nights in December 15-23. Santa’s helpers will be haost nding out candy canes and fire safety literature during Santa’s rounds. To find out when Santa will visit their street, neighborhood residents can type in their street address to get the schedule. You also can follow their Facebook page for updates.
The Vienna VFD escorts Santa around town! Santa Runs take place on select evenings in December each year. In 2018, the dates are December 12-19. Look for Santa as he drives around the town’s residential streets and visitJolly Old Saint Nick and to receive a candy cane from one of his honorary elves. The Vienna VFD posts the schedule on the department’s website. Keep in mind that weather, mechanical issues, or other factors may cause the VVFD to deviate or not complete its schedule. Any changes to the schedule will be updated on the website and on Twitter.
During the holiday season, members of the volunteer fire department dressed as Santa Claus and his elves travel throughout neighborhoods across the Dunn Loring community handing out candy canes, taking pictures with members of the community, and listening to the children’s Christmas lists. The Operation Santa schedule for this year (runs are December 9-15) is posted on the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire & Rescue Facebook page. You also can follow @DLVFRD on Twitter for announcements.
Santa will ride through Ashburn on a yellow fire truck again this year! The annual Santa Parade this year is on December 8. The route is subject to change due to timing, unforeseen traffic and/or road conditions, and the department advises the best places to see Santa are along Tournament Parkway, at the schools (in parking lots along the procession route) and at the Ashburn Village Sports Pavilion. See details and a route map on the Facebook event page.
The Leesburg VFD hosts its Santa Rides each year on select nights in December. See information on the department’s website and check its Facebook page for the latest schedule.
Photo (c) P. Hall