New Boston Mayor Junior Williams, part of Breakfast With Santa for 17 of its 23 years, reminisced as he stood outside his office door. Williams was a member of Village Council and the late James Warren was mayor.
“I came to his (Warren) office prepared to volunteer to serve breakfast,” Williams said. “He said, ‘that box is for you.’ I opened it and it was a Santa suit. ‘Santa called in sick,’ the mayor said.”
It’s those kinds of fond memories that people have of New Boston’s Breakfast With Santa.
“We continue it because it’s for the people who live in New Boston,” Williams said. “Mayor Warren started it back in 1994. I think we have served over 11,000 meals and handed out over 5,000 toys for kids. We just do it to see their smiling faces and to make everybody’s day, we hope.”
One of the people who is a fixture at this event every year is New Boston Councilman Mike Payton.
“This year looks like it’s one of the bigger ones,” Payton said. “Last year the weather was a little bit colder and there wasn’t as many. But this year we’ve got a room full. There’s probably about a hundred in here. They go out the door and we get more people in.”
It was announced earlier in the week that Sugg Hickman, operator of Hickie’s Hamburgers, was to be the grand marshal in the New Boston parade Saturday evening. But Saturday morning she wasn’t cooking hamburgers, she was serving breakfast to the New Boston community.
“I have the honor of being the grand marshal, so I thought, well, I’ll just give back to the community and come and help,” Hickman said.
Out in the hallway Santa, who looked remarkably like New Boston Councilman Jon Mills, though it was only a coincidence, had a line of children who couldn’t wait to tell old Santa what they want for Christmas. As families enjoyed breakfast of pancakes and sausage, some orange juice and coffee, Willams’ smile said it all. This is a Mayor Jim Warren tradition that will go on in the years ahead.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.