ALEXANDRIA, VA – Despite the weather folks predicting record-breaking temperature plunges, we have word that Santa plans to waterski for the 37th year in front of an excited Alexandria crowd.
Naughty or nice, we recommend you show up to see this hilarious and beloved event happening at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve Saturday at Waterfront Park, 1A Prince Street, Alexandria, VA. There is pre-show for spectators that starts at 12:45 p.m., and after the epic fly-by of Santa on his waterskis, Santa will be around to meet and greet from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. “Come get pictures with Santa, Mrs Claus, and the reindeer,” say event organizers.
The event is also being broadcast via Facebook Live.
The tradition began in 1986, when a few folks were knocking around ideas for a holiday party. “We decided it would be funny if one of us water-skied down the Potomac in a Santa suit,” a man now known as “Santa Emeritus” told The Washington Post in 2016, “and I drew the short straw.”
It’s all top secret about “who is Santa” on the skis, but you can bet it is one of a group of professional skiers who are passionate about the annual show, which includes about 50 or so boat drivers, skiers and other volunteers who make the event all come together. Turns out some of the most important jobs are “dressers” who help skiers get their costumes on over life jackets, dry suits, and thermal underwear.
The show has grown over the years and includes waterskiing reindeer too–be on the lookout for these characters because they sometimes get left behind if someone falls. They are supposed to be riding alongside Santa in the big finale.
The prime viewing area is Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), with more great views from the Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.)
The weather is expected to be extremely cold. We do recommend you check the Waterskiing Santa Facebook Page before you head out, just in case there have been any changes.