ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) — Ahead of his Christmas Eve visit, Santa is making a stop in Athens. He will be visiting the neighborhoods starting around Decatur Pike and ending near Congress Parkway on Wednesday, December 22, from 5 to 9 p.m. He will also visit the neighborhoods starting at North City to City Park on Thursday, December 23, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Athens Fire Department will escort Santa Claus around the city in a white pickup truck with red lights. This will allow his reindeer time to rest while the elves perform maintenance on his sleigh before setting off around the world on Christmas Eve.

“I look forward to visiting the boys and girls in Athens every year to check my list twice. I am happy that Athens Fire Department and Parks and Recreation Department will escort me through town, so my reindeer get a break before our busy day,” said Santa on a recent phone call to the city.

The Athens Parks and Recreation Department and Athens Fire Department are sponsoring this annual event.