December 18, 2020
SANTA TO FLY OVER MISSOULA VALLEY SATURDAY, DEC. 19 STARTING AT 6:30 PM
Missoula Community Rallies to Bring Back Flyover to Inspire Children during the Pandemic
What started as a humble idea from a local daycare provider has turned into a community-wide rally to bring back the Santa Flyover. With support from many individuals and organizations, Santa Claus and his Sleigh will fly over the Missoula Valley this Saturday, Dec. 19, beginning at 6:30 pm if weather permits.
With a little bit of help from many in the community who were witness to the Santa Flyovers of the 1990s and early 2000s, Missoula resident Lynn Lease and her family and friends have created a Christmas miracle for Missoula families.
The historic frame was found on top of the RDO Equipment building near the Wye. D&G Crane Service pulled the sleigh frame off the roof, and High Country Carriers relocated it to a warehouse where many individuals including Sorenson Transport worked to weld, rewire and relight the sleigh and reindeer. The Missoula Downtown Foundation provided fiscal sponsorship support, and more than 200 people donated to the effort to raise more than $6,000 for the flyover this weekend, all in about 10 days.
“It’s truly incredible to see our community come together to bring back a tradition of our past that will bring light and joy to the children and families of our community during this very difficult time,” said organizer Lynn Lease. “What started out as a reflection of my childhood memories in Missoula turned out to be a full-time job and a community campaign, and I am just thrilled that Santa and his reindeer will be flying over the Missoula Valley Saturday night!”
Minuteman Aviation will clear the way for Santa and his sleigh to fly over Missoula, but good weather and good visibility will be needed. A sign of faith, hope, love and joy during the dark winter days of the pandemic, Santa’s Flyover will go down as the Christmas Miracle for 2020, thanks to amazing efforts of many.
According to local lore, the last year Santa flew over Missoula was in 2004. For more information or to view a KPAX-TV video of the 1999 flyover, visit the Bring Back Santa Fly-Over page on Facebook.
“Like many others on the Board of Directors, I remember Santa flying over Missoula when I was a child,” said Jared Kuehn, Board President for the Missoula Downtown Foundation. “The Foundation was delighted to provide the fiscal support needed to make this wonderful endeavor come to be, and it’s given all of us something fun to look forward to!”
Donations for the Santa Flyover can be made online at https://donations.missouladowntown.com/ or by mailing a check, payable to the Missoula Downtown Foundation, to 218 East Main St. Be sure to note the donation is for the Santa Flyover.
For more information or to set up an interview with Lease, email [email protected].
Downtown Missoula: Connecting Our Community