MAYVILLE - The man from the North Pole visited three Chautauqua County schools Wednesday - via helicopter.
Santa Claus touched down to students' surprise at Sherman, Clymer and Chautauqua Lake schools yesterday, chauffeured by Bill Jones of H&L Enterprises of Western New York.
"It's quite a ride up there to the North Pole," Jones said of picking up Santa in his helicopter. "It certainly takes a few minutes."
With the help of teachers, the maintenance staff at each of the buildings and a county legislator, Santa was able to meet with children at each of the schools and distribute presents.
"We ran into a little turbulence," Santa said of the flight down from his workshop. "We went around Greenland, by Canada and stopped in Clymer, Sherman and here (at Chautauqua Lake Central School)."
Though the day lacked cookies and milk, Santa knew he'd soon have more than enough - what with Christmas only days away.
Santa Claus leads children at Chautauqua Lake Central School in Christmas carols during a visit Wednesday.
P-J photo by Nicholas L. Dean
The biggest question he faced from children was regarding his mode of transportation; specifically, where his nine reindeer were.
"We took the helicopter today because the reindeer only fly on Christmas Eve," Santa explained, taking gift requests as he went.
He left the students with one piece of advice - to be good and to treat your fellow and friends with courtesy and respect.
At Chautauqua Lake, Santa visited with pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, third and fourth-grade students. The presents distributed were paid for by teachers, with the cost of the helicopter covered by area businesses
"This was truly a community effort," said Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, of the many people who came together to make the day's events happen.