MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Santa Claus arrived to the Meridian Mall in style this morning.
He got a ride from the Meridian Township Fire Department in a fire truck with a police escort.
Upon exiting the truck he was greeted by mall employees, Township officials and jubilant children singing Christmas songs.
Once inside he led a holiday procession to the center of the mall where more children from Gier Park Elementary were ready to welcome him to his wish taking throne beside the Christmas tree.
Upgrades were made over the last week to the Santa Claus Experience Area near the Food Court within the mall.
It's part of a broader theme at the Meridian Mall to renovate and stay up to date during a time when most malls are in decline.
Shawn Dunham, the Senior Leasing Manager at the Meridian Mall, was thrilled to have the upgrades completed for the rest of December.
"A lot of love and care went into putting this Santa set together. It took us two full days to assemble it and there's a lot of heavy pieces you have to put together. We have a team at the mall and got together and made it look beautiful for everyone and brought it all together today with the Gier Park Elementary School students and Santa."
Along with beautifying the area the upgrades were to be made to be as appealing to kids as they are to adults.
"We have a couple of new interactive features with the new set. We have touch panel screens that have a few games on it to keep the kids entertained while they're going through the line."
Some other features are a large red and gold mailbox to send letters straight to the North Pole, a funhouse mirror, and a giant Christmas tree.
MABA, the Meridian Area Business Association, was on hand to deliver a grand opening certificate and had Santa and the kids partake in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Santa will be available to hear wishes during normal mall business hours through the 24th.
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