Mayor Darryl Clare looked astounded Friday when he saw Santa Claus stranded on the roof of one of Galt's oldest buildings during Galt's Olde Town Christmas Memories event.
"Santa," Clare said in wonderment, "are you up on the roof of the Olde Towne Gift Shoppe?"
Santa, also known as Galt businessman Herb Houston, looked down before a crowd of children and parents at Fourth and C streets and explained that he slept all night on the roof.
"Rudolph's nose went out," Santa explained, adding that it caused him to completely lose his sense of direction.
As the ultimate straight man, Clare asked with a sense of urgency, "Chief (Jim) Templeton, can your crew help Santa?"
Right on cue, a Galt fire truck turned the corner at Fourth an A streets, blared its siren, flashed its lights and went the final two blocks to where Santa was stranded.
In what promises to be an annual tradition, Galt Fire Capt. Don McCoy read a poem he wrote last year detailing Santa's sad plight.
McCoy referenced Santa observing the old Galt water tower, Valley Oaks Elementary School and the wonderful smell of Spaans cookies from the rooftop. The last line credits Galt Truck 45 for saving Christmas.
On Friday, Fire Capt. Mike Haug was raised by the tall ladder to pick up Santa from the two-story building.
8 to 11
a.m.: Pancake breakfast at Galt United Methodist Church,
Sixth and C streets.
"If there was ever the time to say 'Do not try this at home,' this might be the time," Clare announced.
Also aiding in Santa's rescue were Capt. Dale Rothenberger and firefighters Chris Schamber and Robert Brouwer.
Friday's opening festivities included a welcome by Clare and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli, singing by City Tots preschool, singing of the National Anthem by Galt resident Ronda Faull and a wild west show.
It included several horseback riders from the San Joaquin Valley Rangers romping around in the park between Fourth Street and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and shooting balloons with their guns.
The Olde Town Christmas Memories also featured craft and food booths, and appearances by Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman.
Rudolph was portrayed by Galt High sophomores Samantha Toste and Amy Haren, while Kim Sarinana and Kaitlin Sayler dressed as Frosty.