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Many small-town Christmas celebrations have been scaled back due to the pandemic. Santa, however, is still making the rounds thanks to helpful fire departments.

In Thomasboro, Saturday’s annual Cookies with Santa was called off. Instead, St. Nick was whisked around town by fire Chief Paul Cundiff & Co., who were happy to rev up the village’s new firetruck to use in the late-afternoon procession. “The kids loved it,” Cundiff said. “The community has always been very supportive, and this was our way of giving back.”

It’s Tuscola’s turn this Saturday. Starting at 1 p.m., fire Chief Brian Moody and crew will chauffeur Santa along “basically every street” to spread holiday cheer from a safe distance. It kicks off a festive weekend that includes a drive-thru nativity from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Ervin Park.

Early in the pandemic, Tuscola’s fire department conducted hundreds of birthday drive-bys that proved popular with the Douglas County crowd (right).

“We thought we’d play off that,” Moody said. “A lot of people are bummed out right now. Hopefully this will help.”

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