On Saturday, December 5th of 1953, Santa traveled around Ames in a bright red convertible to greet children and give out 2,500 sacks of candy. The Ames Chamber of Commerce arranged for the first stop to be at the corner of Burnett and Main Street, followed an hour later by a similar session at Welch and Lincoln Way for kids in west Ames.
The first two photos look north towards Main Street from Burnett (now Tom Evans Plaza).Can you identify anyone? Do you remember the Main Street businesses visible in the photos?
Ames Daily Tribune, December 7, 1953
SANTA GIVES AMES CHILDREN THRILLS - More than 2,500 children gave old Santa Claus his most rousing reception to date on his annual pre-Christmas visit to Ames Saturday morning. A bright red convertible was Santa's choice for conveyance through Ames' snowless streets. Clad in his traditional red suit, the jolly gentleman waved gaily to the crowds as he was driven, with police escort, down Santa Claus lane (Main street) to his first stop on Burnett avenue, just south of Main street.
Both there and an hour later at Welch and Lincoln Way he was literally concealed from view by the hundreds of eager youngsters attempting to reach him. After the children had been given their candy by Santa's helpers (the retail committee of the Ames Chamber of Commerce), they had an opportunity to tell Santa their desires for Chistmas Eve delivery.
He heard from little girls who wanted dolls that walk, doll high chairs and a hundred other things. Little boys with eyes sparkling and teeth chattering with excitement confided their wishes for trains, cowboy outfits, footballs and many other toys. In preparation for Santa's visit the Ames Chamber of Commerce had prepared 2,400 bags of candy, 200 more than were needed for last year's attendance of 2,200.
Every sack of this candy and 144 attractive Christmas suckers which had been brought as an emergency supply were distributed. Each child got his candy though some were not so lucky when it came to seeing the jolly old man with the big white whiskers. The crowds thronged around Santa in such great numbers that mothers who tired of holding their youngsters up had to drop out of the circle.
One little girl, Carol Lynn Sheehan, 6-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William F. Sheehan, couldn't get down to see Santa because she had the mumps. So Santa made a special trip out to her house to give her a chance to tell him what she would like in her stocking Dec. 25.
It was quite a thrill for 3-year-old Jimmy Clark to be held by Santa Claus during the latter's visit to the 4th Ward in Ames Saturday forenoon. Jimmy is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Clark.
These two photos show Welch Avenue.
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