Local children and families once again will have an opportunity to get into the holiday spirit and meet with a holly, jolly master of ceremonies when the Pickerington High School Central Music Boosters host "Breakfast with Santa" Dec. 16.
For more than 20 years, the PHS Central Music Boosters have hosted a holiday breakfast featuring Santa Claus and some of the school's top music talent.
This year, Breakfast with Santa will return Saturday, Dec. 16, at Central, 300 Opportunity Way.
The event will feature visits from Princess Elsa and Princess Anna from the Disney movie "Frozen," as well as Santa, who will make the rounds throughout the morning.
Also scheduled are performances by Central's jazz band, orchestra and chorale.
"This is a tradition that has been going on for over 20 years," said Leanne Ross, a gifted instructional coach at Central. "Many of the current (Pickerington Local School District) parents remember coming to the breakfast as children, and now bring their own families to the annual holiday tradition."
This year's event will begin with a breakfast for families with special sensory needs, running from 8-8:45 a.m.
Following that, two breakfast seatings for the rest of the general public will be held. The first breakfast for the general public will take place from 8:45-10 a.m., followed by a second from 10-11:15 a.m.
Admission is $6 per person, with children 2 years old and under admitted free.
In addition to performances by the various Central music groups, attendees will receive a breakfast and opportunities to take part in holiday arts and crafts projects, as well as interacting with Santa.
Photos with Santa, Elsa and Anna will be available for $3, and sweets will be available for purchase. Raffle tickets will be on sale for gift baskets that will include items such as a baking basket, a Lego basket, candy, a movie night package, winter decorations and toys.
Gift basket raffle tickets will be $1 each, or six for $5.
Proceeds will support booster groups for Central's band, orchestra and chorale.
"The proceeds go to the three performing arts groups' booster clubs -- the orchestra, band and choir," Ross said. "This is a major fundraising event, as well as a way for all three groups to give back to the community.
"These groups use the proceeds to fund travel, purchase of instruments for students who cannot afford them, visiting artists and opportunities for students to perform in venues beyond the classroom."
In addition to supporting Central music groups, Breakfast with Santa offers guests the chance to help sick children and families being served by the Ronald McDonald House.
Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, new and unwrapped gifts, and check or cash donations for the organization.
"This is a fun event where the community can come together to celebrate, listen to our orchestra, band and chorale perform a variety of holiday music, and enjoy a morning with Santa," Ross said. "It is a tradition in Pickerington.
"It also involves a charitable collection to support the Ronald McDonald House, which allows us to give back while enjoying the time together."