Volunteers kept City Hall open late on Wednesday to help Santa call city children.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nearly 200 city children received a call Wednesday night from the jolliest of the jolly — Santa Claus.
The city's North Pole Calling program began Wednesday night with volunteers — we mean Santa — using the City Hall phones to hear firsthand what children want for Christmas, encouraging them to work hard in school and keep their rooms clean and asking some of the children to leave milk and cookies out on Christmas Eve.
This year, 179 children will be called, slightly less than last year. The program started some 25 years ago and has grown over the years, according to Parks and Recreation Program Director Rebecca Tefft.
A total of 1,462 children received the exciting phone call from the North Pole in the last six years of the program.
Parents sign up their children in Grades kindergarten through 2 to be called, providing some basic information for Santa. On Wednesday, eight volunteers helped make the calls and on Thursday, the Knights of Columbus will be helping.
"It's one of my favorite programs because you can hear the kids and how excited they are to get a call from Santa," Tefft said.
Santa couldn't finish all of the calls on Wednesday but he will return on Thursday to continue.