Guess Who’s Coming to Town!

Christmas decorations ca. 1940's


Santa likes Davenport, Iowa—probably because we’ve thrown him some pretty good parades over the years.

  The Jaycee’s Santa was bigger than life in the 1940s . . .

Jaycee Santa, ca. 1940s

 . . .  But decided he’d rather sit down for the next one:

Davenport Christmas Parade - Santa in sleigh, ca. 1940's

The children were invited to run alongside his traditional sleigh in 1947:

Davenport Christmas Parade, November 27, 1947

 But in 1948, Santa took to the skies in something a little more aerodynamic

Davenport Christmas Parade - Santa with airplane, 1948

The caption of  the above image, which appeared in the Davenport Daily Times on November 26, 1948, reads:

“Santa’s Airmail Special”:  Old St. Nick had a smile and a wave for everyone as he and his Christmas airplane (which he promises is in perfect flying condition for Christmas eve delivery service) traveled through the Davenport business district Thursday afternoon,  as the climax of the Parade of the Christmas Spirit.  Thousands of Quad-City residents gathered on the sidelines for a view of Santa Claus and his colorful holiday company.

But by 1954, Santa was back to his old standby:

Davenport Christmas Parade - Santa & reindeer, 1954


Whatever his transportation, Santa usually paid a special visit to the Davenport Public Library to say hello to all his fans, as he did in the 1970s:


He still visits the library—in fact, he’s making three special trips to our downtown location on the next three Saturdays:  December 3, 10, and 17, from ten a.m. to eleven-thirty a.m. and then from one p.m. to two-thirty.

Children will receive a FREE photo with Santa, a candy cane, and a booklet.

Help keep the tradition alive!  And make sure to come early for a chance to see Santa pull up in his amazing Santamobile!


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