Santa's helicopter lands in Ahwatukee

PHOENIX - Santa Claus traded his flying reindeer for rotor blades during a visit to Ahwatukee Friday.

Hundreds of families were waiting when the jolly old elf's helicopter landed outside Millie's Hallmark near 48th Street and Elliot Road.    

"I just saw him for the first time because I am from India," Ayush Maniar said. "That's why it's really cool."

Santa greeted the kids and took pictures. Mrs. Claus was at the event to help out.  

Families also listened to carolers, watched a Nutcracker ballet performance, and ate cotton candy and popcorn.

The event is a 30-year tradition in Ahwatukee.

"It's just so exciting, and you look forward to it every single year," said Stacey Wright.  She attended the annual Christmas celebration as a child and now brings her own children.

"It's an event that happens only in Ahwatukee, and it's something just great about our community that we are so small and connected," Wright said.

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