On December 21, 1965, the Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department started a tradition that lives on today. On that Thursday night, they delivered toys that they collected and repaired to give to the children of 30 needy families in Flour Bluff. They also handed out 200 bags filled with apples, oranges, nuts, and candy from a 55-foot long float carrying Santa Claus and his reindeer. A truck filled with caroling firemen followed the float.
Over the years, the firemen went from being volunteers serving Flour Bluff and NAS Corpus Christi to being employed by the Nueces County ESD#2 station and providing fire, water, auto rescue, and EMS services to Flour Bluff, Padre Island, Padre Island National Seashore, and unprotected areas of Kleberg and Nueces County.
According to Chief Dale Scott, “The department protects a resident population of over 45,000 and covers urban, suburban, and rural areas encompassing 80 square miles. We serve a diversified district composed of an extensive variety of family dwellings, homes on canals, industrial facilities, business, and commercial retail centers. We also cover a major highway system that crosses through the district, which includes over 150 miles of waterfront.”
On Friday, December 9, 2016, the Flour Bluff Business Association will kick off the week of Santa visits throughout Flour Bluff, NAS, and Padre Island. The man in the big red suit will hand out gifts at the annual FBBA Community Christmas event at Funtrackers on Flour Bluff Drive from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Anyone who would like to donate gifts for the event may drop them off at the following locations:
Then, starting December 11, 2016, Santa will take to the streets and wind his way for eight nights into the hearts of yet another generation of local kids. This year Saint Nick and his elves will give out 9,000 bags of candy and snacks. All of this Christmas fun and festivity is done without the use of a single tax dollar. For anyone who would like to help keep the Santa float afloat, donations can be made through the GoFundMe account set up by Alana Scott, on behalf of Chief Dale Scott.
Santa’s route is outlined below, as per Chief Scott’s letters:
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day. She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.