Clare Co. Reindeer Farm Welcomes Parachuting Santa Claus

“The flight was fantastic today. It was just like a sleigh ride!”

Santa Claus didn’t just come to town Sunday, he flew there, landing by parachute to dozens of cheering families.

The Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm in Clare invites Santa from the North Pole to visit the children of Northern Michigan every year.

But he doesn’t arrive by sleigh.

“This is a big day for us here on the reindeer farm,” said David Aldrich, owner of Rooftop Landing.

Reindeer — check.

Kids — check.

Excitement — double check.

The only thing missing: the big man himself.

“Santa’s pretty excited to get going,” Aldrich said. “This is a big deal for us. We’ve been doing this 27 years. We’ve tried to have Santa parachute in before, but the weather never seems to cooperate.”

You’d think with a magic sleigh and flying reindeer, weather wouldn’t slow down St. Nick.

This year, Santa came in a little differently.

“These guys come from a distance away, so we have to watch the weather both from where they come from as well as here in Clare, Michigan,” Aldrich said. “It’s kind of a sight to see him jump out of an airplane.”

Santa Claus, with an elf at his side, took a plane and parachuted to the crowds below.

“It’s super cool,” said Brittany Thurston, who came to watch Santa fly down with her husband, Keith, and their two sons Beckett and Colton. “We got to see Santa fly in out of a plane, which we’ve never seen before. That was cool.”

“First year here so it’s nice to see it,” Keith said.

“I could hear them cheering and saying, ‘Hi, Santa,” Claus said. “Just a great, great time. It wasn’t that cold. I’m used to the very cold North Pole.”

The line of kid’s to see Kris Kringle himself went out the door.

Bringing festive cheer to all, including the Thurston family.

“[Our sons] really liked it,” Brittany said. “He stared in awe, basically.”

“Santa loves them all and Mrs. Claus is up at the North Pole, making cookies for kids and the elves,” Claus said. “The cookies here at Rooftop Landing are almost as good as hers but don’t tell her that. She won’t make Santa any more cookies.”