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Santa Claus is coming to town
November 30, 2012, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

Santa Claus is visiting the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA's new adoption center from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.

Santa is going to be very busy this weekend.

The man in red will break out his winter suit and make numerous appearances throughout San Mateo County this weekend. He’ll be taking pictures with kids, pets and adults from Daly City to Menlo Park as part of community activities to kick off the holiday season. Thankfully, Santa’s willingness to attend all these events means your family simply needs to find one to attend.

Tonight, the holiday spirit continues on Broadway in Burlingame. Broadway Cheer, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., is a chance to enjoy entertainment and give back. Ross Bruce, president of the Broadway Business Improvement District, said visitors will be entertained by Dan Chan the Magic Man and Kat the Acrobat. Chan is particularly good at keeping the interest of teens, Bruce said. Fire has been used in previous years to accomplish this feat. Given the weather report, Bruce isn’t sure if Chan will be able to pull off the same trick this year.

Those wanting to snap a photo with Santa should stop by Broadway Grill to see him. Photos will be posted online for free, a gift for the community, Bruce said.

The Burlingame Carolers and Burlingame Choir will also be roaming the streets. Those who attend Broadway Cheer are encouraged to bring a toy or purchase a toy from a Broadway merchant to donate to the Central County Fire Department holiday toy drive.

San Mateo was scheduled to have its downtown tree lighting ceremony this evening but it was canceled due to rain. However, the pancake breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Fire Station 21, 120 S. Ellsworth St. will still be held.

Many activities are taking place Saturday.

Hometown Holidays will be held in downtown Redwood City from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The free family celebration includes a snow play area, ice sculpting demonstrations, entertainment, the traditional children’s holiday parade, the tree lighting and a visit from Old Saint Nick.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., toy donations will be collected at the Serramonte Center in Daly City as part of the Stuff the Bus with Toys event. Donations will benefit the San Mateo County Children’s Fund. Santa will be on hand for the event.

After a two-year hiatus, the holiday train is making its return to the Peninsula this weekend.

Decorated with 60,000 glittering lights, the show train will visit 10 Caltrain stations between San Francisco and Santa Clara Saturday and Sunday. Stops will include entertainment and a toy collection for children in need. On Saturday, the train will stop at 5:15 p.m. in Burlingame and 6:15 p.m. in Redwood City. On Sunday, the train will stop at 5:15 p.m. in Millbrae, 6:20 p.m. in San Mateo and 7:45 p.m. in Menlo Park. Each stop is estimated to last 20 minutes.

After checking out the train, consider taking your pets to meet the jolly man in red.

Santa Claus is visiting the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA’s new adoption center from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Santa will be situated just inside PHS/SPCA’s main entrance at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame. All guests must bring their own camera and will be responsible for taking their pet’s photo. If they want to join their pet on Santa’s lap, volunteers can offer help. There’s a $10 fee per "sitting” to benefit  PHS/SPCA homeless animals.

PHS/SPCA spokesman Scott Delucchi said all pets are welcome. In recent years, Santa has posed with dogs, cats, lizards, guinea pigs and even one snake.

Multiple pets may pose in one photo as long as their owner can control them. Dogs must arrive and remain on leash. Owners should bring cats in carriers.

Crews were hard at work getting the decorations up at Millbrae City Hall Thursday. That work will pay off on Saturday when the city holds its 21st annual tree lighting celebration. Festivities start at 5 p.m. in front of City Hall, 621 Magnolia Ave. There will be hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and candy canes served after the tree lighting. Participants are asked to consider bringing a new, unwrapped toy for the Millbrae Fire Department’s Toy Drive or a clean, gently used coat or jacket for the One Warm Coat project.

Rain or shine, Santa will be visiting South San Francisco City Hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Those who want a picture with Santa can stop by 400 Grand Ave.

If this week doesn’t look good, consider celebrating the start of the season at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 in San Bruno at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno City Park, 251 City Park Way. There will be arts and crafts, cookies, hot chocolate and — of course! — Santa.

Or, San Carlos is having a night of holiday fun on Friday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. The event features festive lights with a snowfall forecast, music and carolers, children’s crafts, train rides and many other activities.

Belmont will get the holiday party started Thursday, Dec. 13. Residents can still partake in the annual toy drive. Collected by Belmont firefighters, the toys are distributed to local children in need. New, unwrapped toys can be donated through Dec. 25 at either Belmont fire station, 911 Granada St. or 2701 Cipriani Blvd.

Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.

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