The sounds of Jingle Bells and Banana Phone rang through the Dec. 18 as Santa Claus came to town.
He was invited by Rich Duchniak, the executive director of the community center, to have breakfast with residents and hear kids' last-minute Christmas wishes of video games and classic toys.
Duchniak coordinated a whole event for Mr. Claus' visit. A large tree stood tall in the center of the lobby and behind that was a small room where Santa awaited his visitors. In a connecting dining room, people congregated to listen to the live music and enjoy the food.
This is the 10th year Santa made this stop in Oak Creek. Five years ago, the program expanded to two weekend visits because the event sold out so quickly. This was the second of the two sold-out Breakfast with Santa events this year, the first taking place on Dec. 11.
"Over the course of two weekends we entertain almost 500 people. Each year the event sells out," Duchniak said.
The event includes an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with music provided by "Two Guys with Guitars."
"It's a family-orientated thing. I just like doing the breakfast with my son with Santa, just him experiencing the whole thing. It's nice," said Tenishia Ragsdale. She brought her son, Isaiah, to meet Santa. When Isaiah was asked what he wanted most from him this year, he responded with one thing: "PSP."
Bouncing his son in his arms to Jingle Bells, Andy Vogt was attending his first Breakfast with Santa with his son. It was his son's first Christmas and Vogt got him a "tent with tunnels" and some "big trucks" but felt that his son would be more interested in the wrapping paper.
"At least until he's old enough to understand what the presents are," Vogt added smiling.
Santa himself had a few comments about the event. He said the most common gifts asked for were Legos and an iPod Touch, which is similar to last year. Santa also mentioned that the most memorable or unique request he had at the event was for a video game prototype not due out until late 2012.
"He wanted to see if I could speed it up," Santa said.
Santa was assisted by many members of the Oak Creek community at the event, including the Oak Creek Poms, who introduced the kids to Santa and took pictures. The poms team also gave out little gift bags to each child that sat on Santa's lap.
Mr. Claus also had a few closing words about the local children: "Kids in Oak Creek are always good, some better than others."
Two Guys with Guitars consists of Brian Wegener and Brent Neumann, who have been making music together in some fashion since high school – about 30 years.
They said they started doing performances about 13 years ago on what they called the "library circuit" for Wegener's wife. In addition to Breakfast with Santa, they also play the community center's Easter event.
"Rich has said we'll keep doing the event until the place burns down," said Wegener laughing.
"So please don't burn the place down," Neumann added, "'cause we need the gig."