Caroling at Callon celebrates ten years with Santa

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NATCHEZ — Santa Claus made a fitting entrance at the annual Caroling at Callon event Tuesday at the Natchez Convention Center.

The Holy Family Church and Cathedral High School choirs were singing the first verse of “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and Santa Claus came to the delight of children who hurriedly formed a single-file line to meet the man in the red suit.

Without hesitation, Cole Humphries, 5, told Santa he wanted an Army Man toy. But Cole’s brother Kyle, 2, decided he would forego meeting Santa this year.

Email newsletter signup

“(Kyle) is scared of Santa,” said father Robert. “He made it about five feet.”

For the Humphries, Caroling at Callon officially kicks off the holiday season.

“We come here every year to meet Santa. It’s so much easier than the mall,” Robert said. “This is our official time to come see Santa.”

Caroling at Callon, hosted by Callon Petroleum Company, is celebrating its 10th year, event coordinator Tammy Rouse said.

Due to cold and rainy weather, the event was moved to the Convention Center from the courtyard at Callon Petroleum on Canal Street.

“We’ve only had to have it (at the Convention Center) one other time,” Rouse said.

The rain did not dampen Christmas spirits as guests listened to holiday classics such as “Joy to the World” and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while sipping hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

Carl Knight, a 15-year Callon employee, brought daughter Khyra, 5, to meet Santa. As Khyra buried her face in her father’s chest, Carl explained the meeting did not go as planned.

“She was all hype to come over here. She was ready to go,” Knight said. “She was so excited about Santa Claus, and now she’s scared.”

Standing next to Knight, eight-year Callon employee Tracie Jones brought son Braden, 10, and daughter Gracie, 8 months, to meet Santa.

Gracie, sporting a red Santa dress and matching hat, was calm and collected while sitting on Santa’s lap.

Santa extended his hand, Gracie took Santa’s hand, and the two exchanged smiles.

“It’s her first time seeing Santa Claus,” Tracie said of Gracie. “She’s not afraid of anything.

“Next year she’ll maybe be old enough to say, ‘Wait, I don’t know this guy.’”