Saddle up with Santa scheduled for Dec. 14; sponsors and volunteers needed

JAY HARE/DOTHAN EAGLE

In this Dothan Eagle file photo, a young boy shows his glee after catching a Christmas elf during the Saddle Up with Santa fundraiser event.

Dothan Boots and Saddle Club will host its annual Saddle Up With Santa Christmas festival Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the Wiregrass 2-1-1.

Sponsors, volunteers, donated baked goods and cakes are still needed to assist with this year’s festival, said Dawn Greathouse with the Dothan Boots and Saddle Club.

Volunteers are needed to help with the event and parking, and sponsors are needed to ensure struggling families with children have a chance to experience the joy of the Christmas season.

“This is a great, fun-filled event,” Greathouse said. “We have several games available for the children, inflatables, silent auctions, cake auction, visits with Santa, gifts from Santa, musical entertainment provided by Aileen Clayton, and live skit on horseback performed by Glitter and Grace and Horseplay.”

The Salvation Army and Waffle House have teamed up to provide lunch for all in attendance.

The festival is free of charge, and the event is open to the public. Donations will be accepted but are not required to enter the festival.

“Last year, we had more than 387 children visit with Santa and receive a special gift,” Greathouse said. “We had more than 590 attend the festival. This is a great way for families to share the joys of Christmas.”

This year, the festival will include horse-drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo and pony rides.

The festival provides everyone a chance to step back to a time when money isn’t everything.

“This festival allows the children and their families a chance to see the joys of Christmas and our community,” she said. “We will also have area nonprofit agencies on hand that provide services to assist and help families struggling to make ends meet.”

The Dothan Boots and Saddle Club also will be collecting nonperishable food items during the festival for The Salvation Army. Those who donate a can of food will receive a free entry to the bake walk.

The mission of the Wiregrass 2-1-1 is to streamline the way residents and organizations access information and referral services to build a stronger community.

Individuals or businesses wishing to volunteer or sponsor this year’s festival can do so by calling 334-685-2409.

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