MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — He’s makin’ a list, and checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town… or, in the case of Mandan, he already has.

Thanksgiving may have just ended, but there’s no reason why Jolly Old St. Nicholas can’t get a head start on future endeavors. On Saturday, November 26, he and Ms. Claus visited Mandan for an all-day arrival party — complete with friendly faces, sweet treats, and community interaction that warmed up the cold day.

Every year in Mandan, the Claus family takes a short parade from Bravera Bank to the Morton Mandan Public Library to celebrate their arrival and prepare for the Christmas season.

“It’s important to our community because It activates our downtown main street area and brings kids down here,” says “We love to see the smiles on the kids’ faces as they get to walk through the park and see the displays. We’re ‘Where the West Begins’, and so it’s oftentimes really nice to have Santa arrive in a wagon-type-of-thing. It just fits with Mandan.”

The yearly event began at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Santa and Ms. Claus starred in a parade down Mandan’s Main Street after departing from Bravera Bank’s Mandan location, traveling westbound. While we’d normally see the Claus family on board their trusty sleigh, now that the roads are clear, a horse-drawn carriage works just as well.

Following the initial parade, Santa took the time to meet with children and their families at the Morton Mandan Public Library, where they could meet the Christmassy couple, speak to them in a warm chair, and deliver their letters in person. It wasn’t even just the holiday heroes that made appearances at the library, either — Mandan Rodeo queens and princesses were also present, handing out goodie bags to children.

Santa himself had some very kind words to say about the event, praising the good children in the city, as well as its attempts to set the holiday season into full swing.

“This is such a beautiful, glorious event,” said Mr. Claus in an exclusive interview. “Mandan has worked so hard to put together such an amazing diaplsy for everyone to come and enjoy, I was so proud, so humbled, when they asked me to come and help open the display!”

Even without taking Santa’s visit into account, the rest of Mandan was also in the holiday spirit: those visiting Dykshoorn Park could participate in building their own s’mores, and Small Business Saturday in the city continued with the Shop Hop. Kids also had the opportunity to partake in their own miniature processions with covered wagon rides from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Just because Santa’s left Mandan, though, doesn’t mean he isn’t watching. He left us with a reminder for the children of the community to clean their rooms and do their homework if they want him to visit again.

More information on the city of Mandan and its holiday events can be found on its website.