Santa Claus is making an early appearance in Neosho on Saturday evening.

Santa Claus is making an early appearance in Neosho on Saturday evening.

St. Nick will be greeting Neosho children, posing for pictures with the kids and handing out goodies, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 525 Oak Ridge Drive.

Rev. Tom Thorne is hosting the event, which he said has been held annually for at least 25 years.

“My parents did that years ago, they decorated the house for ever and ever,” Thorne said. “It became a tradition.”

Thorne said that the attendance has varied based on the weather at the time of the event, though some years have seen as many as 100 children show up to greet Santa Claus.

However, rain, shine, or snow, Thorne said Santa has always made his annual appearance at the residence on Oak Ridge.
“We’ve never missed a year,” he said.

Parents are invited to bring cameras to take their children’s photos with Santa, and Thorne said goodies handed out will include candies and baked goods.

He said the evening with Santa is open to the public and all are invited to attend.

Thorne said the event is intended to provide Neosho children with an opportunity to visit with Santa who may not have been able to otherwise.

“It’s Christmas time and it’s something for the kids to do,” Thorne said. “We just love to have anybody come by that can.”

Thorne said over the years the event has seen various Santas, and this year, John Glore will be doing the honors.

Glore, a former police officer, told the Daily News in 2010 that he had thought about playing Santa for Thorne for some time, but didn’t until he was urged to by a former long-time Santa, Bill Dobbs. The assistant prosecutor portrayed Kris Kringle for about 20 years until an illness forced him to hang up his red suit.