Santa dives into the holidays at the Great Lakes Aquarium

Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 9:03 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2021 at 11:09 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - At Duluth’s Great Lakes Aquarium, children of all ages can get face to face with creatures that are both aquatic and adorable.

“It’s been great, it’s our first time here, and we already can’t wait to come back,” said Erin Weier, a visitor at the Great Lakes Aquarium.

For Weier and her family, they traveled all the way from Maple Grove, Minnesota.

They came expecting to see fish and said they were pleasantly surprised when mixed in with the sturgeon they saw Santa Clause himself.

Well, technically, it was Scuba Santa.

“That was actually a surprise for us when we came. We just thought the boys would love an aquarium adventure, but seeing Santa has been really fun for us,” said Weier.

For a few days this month, the man in red swaps the sack of toys on his back with an oxygen tank to bring joy to local children.

According to organizers, he’s a hit with families.

“Kids really love seeing the divers in the water, so Santa was a natural winter addition,” said Julie Marano, a Great Lakes Aquarium Content Developer.

He also appears to be a hit with the fish.

“They seem to recognize that when Santa’s in the water, he’s bringing treats, and they have no problem getting up and close with him,” said Marano.

According to Marano, Scuba Santa was one of the many holiday events that were put on hold last year due to the pandemic.

“We didn’t have Santa last year with covid, so we’re really glad to have him back in person this year,” said Marano.

And for the Weier family, they’re already planning their next visit.

“We’re probably going to make it an annual tradition,” said Weier.

It’s a new tradition for some and a welcome return for others.

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