By Max Fontaine | Beacon traditions reporter
Three onlookers were injured Wednesday night when Santa Claus rode his bicycle into a crowd of children who had gathered at the town rhombus awaiting his arrival.
Santa, played again this year by former Bass Lake Authority Police chief Tug McNabb, lost control of his patrol cycle as he glided down East West Main Street amid the delighted screams of children eager for his yearly appearance.
Jolly Jimmerschmidt, Jr., 6, Charon Karen, 5.7, and Dimly Lit, 4 3/8, all sustained cuts and abrasions when Santa McNabb’s squad bike plowed into them without warning.
Larry Karen, father of Charon, said he heard Santa cursing moments before impact.
“He screamed something foul and then just bounced through the sidewalk construction and slammed into those kids,” Karen said. “We’re lucky no one was seriously hurt.”
When asked what caused his bicycle to lurch into the children, McNabb responded by saying “Hi-ho.” When told that he was confusing deceased author Kurt Vonnegut’s famous tagline with St. Nicholas’ holiday greeting he said, “I don’t know them.”
This is the third year in a row that Santa’s arrival was marred by tragedy. Previously, McNabb-as-Santa started an elf-sized riot by denying candy canes to kids whose parents he had arrested and releasing feral hogs dressed as reindeer into the holiday crowd.
Santa’s arrival organizers have vowed to replace McNabb as Father Christmas prior to next year’s event.
“I don’t think the community can take much more of this,” said one committee member who wished to remain anonymous.