07 SANTA 11 2018 DEC 16The holiday season is in full swing, offering options galore when it comes time to celebrate. Cool Spring Downtown District offers a twist on a downtown favorite — an up-close-and-personal carriage ride with everyone’s favorite jolly elf. The organization will host its  holiday-themed horse-drawn Carriage Rides with Santa” Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22, from 1-8 p.m.

“What is really exciting, especially for the kids, is the Santa carriage rides, and, typically during those three weekends, we will have up to 1,000 kids and families riding with Santa Claus,” said Hank Parfitt, programming committee member of the Cool Spring Downtown District. “The carriage is decorated for whatever holiday it is and the driver for the carriage ride is Santa.”   
Parfitt added that the owners of the horses and carriage go all out decorating for the holidays. “This may be the only city in North Carolina where Santa is actually driving the carriage,” said Parfitt. “These rides are tons of fun, and we have people of all ages do it because this is the perfect holiday activity.”

Parfitt added this is a family activity, but singles and couples can join in the fun, too, by enjoying a carriage ride after watching the Christmas parade.

“We do have the early bird special for the carriage ride with Santa for $5,” said Parfitt.

“To obtain the early bird special, you have to ride between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.”     

The rides are provided by S & S Carriage Rides. “They are very enthusiastic, very professional and always concerned about client safety,” said Parfitt. “Each kid will receive a candy cane as a gift, and after the ride, you can take a picture with Santa and the horse with your camera phone. 

“December is just a magical time downtown with all the lights and stores,” said Parfitt. “It is a great experience to come downtown, have a meal at one of the nice restaurants, do a little shopping and go for a carriage ride with Santa.” 
 
Tickets are $10 for adults and children over 10 and $5 for children under 10. There are no advanced reservations. Ticket sales start at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the rides at 222 Hay Street across from the Cameo Theater. Adults can ride for $5 during the early bird special from 1 p.m.- 2 p.m.   

 
For more information, weather updates, or to purchase tickets, call 910-223-1089. 

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