Driving the surrey was owner Harold Godwin. Friend Jerry “Snake” Waites dressed as Santa. Also riding were Harold’s wife, Pam, Jerry’s wife, Barbara, and the Waites’ great-grandchildren Conner, Brodie, and Sagan.
“We do it for the kids,” Pam Godwin said. “They love to see it.”
Each year the number of kids enjoying the sight and treats has grown. This year about 100 kids enjoyed seeing Santa ride in a two-horse drawn surrey rather than a one horse open sleigh.
The circuit through the communities is about six to seven miles long and it took about two to three hours to complete.
The tradition began three years ago. Harold Godwin said friend “Snake” Waites looked like Santa and Godwin and his wife had the wagon and horses, so they teamed up and simply rode through the communities.
“Snake is so jolly and loves the kids,” Pam said.
Pulling the surrey were the Godwins’ Tennessee Walkers, Magic and Pretty Girl. Magic is Pretty Girl’s mother, and she is sired by Son of a Preacher Man.
The horses had no trouble crossing U.S. 280 from the Center Hill to the Centerpoint community.
They were “broken” by Amish friends and are comfortable with traveling on roads and highways.
The Amish family is Hosteller family of Osceola, Missouri. Hosteller also made the reins and harness, as well as the wagon.
The surrey is also used on other occasions. It can be seen during Halloween, occasionally at weddings, and simply for the Godwin’s and friend’s personal pleasure.
Contact Mark Ledbetter at firstname.lastname@example.org.