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Santa visits the Happy Hooligans

Santa walks with Happy Hooligan family members after arriving in C-21 Lear Jet for the annual 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party at the North Dakota Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Santa walks with Happy Hooligan family members after arriving in C-21 Lear Jet for the annual 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party at the North Dakota Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Santa steps off of the C-21 Lear Jet to greet the children of Happy Hooligan members during the annual 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party at the N.D. Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Santa steps off of the C-21 Lear Jet to greet the children of Happy Hooligan members during the annual 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party at the N.D. Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Elise, three-year old daughter of Master Sgt. Eric Johnson of the 119th Wing, receives a present in a ‘Dora the Explorer’ gift bag from Santa at the 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party at the North Dakota Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Elise, three-year old daughter of Master Sgt. Eric Johnson of the 119th Wing, receives a present in a ‘Dora the Explorer’ gift bag from Santa at the 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party at the North Dakota Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Crusty the Clown entertains the Happy Hooligan family members at the North Dakota Air National Guard during the 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party on December 8, 2007.

Crusty the Clown entertains the Happy Hooligan family members at the North Dakota Air National Guard during the 119th Wing Children’s Christmas Party on December 8, 2007.

Master Sgt. Susan Schroeder of the 119th Wing assists her daughter as she takes a gift from Santa during the annual 119th Wing Children’s Christmas party at the North Dakota Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Master Sgt. Susan Schroeder of the 119th Wing assists her daughter as she takes a gift from Santa during the annual 119th Wing Children’s Christmas party at the North Dakota Air National Guard on December 8, 2007.

Fargo, N.D. -- Children of Happy Hooligan members will get a Christmas treat on Saturday as Santa makes an early stop, "Air Guard style," at the 119th Wing in Fargo.

Santa will arrive at the base in a C-21 Lear Jet, bearing gifts for the Happy Hooligan children who will be anxiously waiting in the hangar.

The annual Children's Christmas Party consists of entertainment, treats and of course, one-on-one time with Santa for the children. Santa also brings a hand-picked present for each child and distributes the gifts during the party.

"Last year when my three-year old daughter, Elise heard her name called and Santa had a 'Dora the Explorer' gift bag in his hands she turned to me and screamed, 'Dora, Dora! I'm so excited,'" said Master Sgt. Eric Johnson, 119th Wing. "I'll never forget her reaction, it's a great memory."

The Children's Christmas party is coordinated by the 119th Wing Family Programs Office.

"This Christmas party is always a great success, not only for the children, but also for the parents because they get a chance to connect with each other," said Jody Harms, 119th Wing Family Programs Coordinator. "The Happy Hooligan family is more than just the Airmen of this unit; it also consists of the families that continuously support the Airmen."

Some members like Tech.Sgt. Tracy Zidon, 119th Wing, is especially looking forward to attending the event with her kids this year.

"Their dad has been deployed since September and won't be home over the holidays. It's always comforting to be around other military members who are going through or have gone through the holidays without their loved one," said Zidon.

The Children's Christmas Party will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the 119th Wing. The C-21 Lear Jet carrying Santa is scheduled to taxi into the hangar at approximately 2:45 p.m.

Media is invited to this event.

Please contact Capt. Penny Ripperger, 119th Public Affairs Officer, at 701-451-2194 to arrange an escort on base.

Schedule of events:

2:00 p.m. - Party begins, treats and entertainment by Crusty the Clown at the 119th Wing Aerospace Dining Facility.

2:45 p.m. - C-21 Lear Jet carrying Santa will taxi into 119th Wing hangar where children will be waiting.

3:00 p.m. - Santa will walk back to the aerospace dining facility to distribute gifts and interact with the children.
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