Santa Lands a Helicopter in City Park – On this day in 1955

Happy Thanksgiving Berks Nostalgiacs! The holiday season is here, so here is a peek back to that time that Santa Claus flew a helicopter and landed it at City Park in Reading. It happened on this day, November 25th, 1955.

Santa lands helicopter city park
Nov. 25th 1955 Reading Eagle

Two little girls served as a reception committee for Santa Claus after he landed his helicopter in City Park this morning. They are Donna Weaver, 8, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arlington Weaver, 3420 Holtry St., Laureldale, and Janice Clay, 3, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Clay. 3421 Fulton St., Laureldale. This Santa is Maj. S. B. (Bud) Walcott, Lawrence, NJ. When he isn’t filling the red suit he is a jet test pilot.

The event experienced some snafus when Santa experienced hazy weather and some main rotor issues which caused a delay in his arrival. He was initially due to land around 9:15 a.m., but flew over the park at 9:35 announcing that he would “be right back”. Around 9:50 word was radioed to the organizers that Santa had forgotten his red suit. Good thing there was a spare Santa waiting in a building at City Park. Yet, in the knick of time there was no need for spare Santa. As soon as they were about to get him ready the helicopter again came flying in from the west, with Major Santa at the controls. Turns out he didn’t forget his suit, he just hadn’t put it on yet due to planning to land at Reading Municipal Airport to change before he was delayed. The day was saved!

Born and raised in Berks, I am fascinated by the style, design & culture of the mid-late 20th century. I started this website to research and build a collection of the places, things and stories I have heard about my entire life. Read more here.

One Reply to “Santa Lands a Helicopter in City Park – On this day in 1955”

  1. I remember when they flew helicopters over the various parks around Easter in the 50’s and early 60’s and they would drop little plastic eggs to us kids. The eggs could be opened and there was a piece of paper which could be redeemed at various stores for prizes. Some eggs had some candy. I believe Boscov’s was the primary retailer involved in the drops. Always looked forward to going up to the Hillside playground for our event.

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