Enthusiasm reigned Sunday among children aged eight months to 12 years as Santa pulled up in front of the Fraternal Order of Eagles clubhouse for the organization's annual children's Chrismas party.
The reindeer were probably resting up for their big night, because Santa arrived in a Warren Engine Company fire engine complete with sirens and police escort as about 24 wide-eyed children watched in awe.
The children and grandchildren of club members, all were invited to join in a host of activities before Santa's arrival.
In addition to coloring and frosting cookies they were invited to croon their favorite Christmas tunes karaoke-style, accompanied by musicians Chuck Allison and Janet Lynn.
All received a stocking stuffed with goodies and a special gift. But perhaps the best gift of all was that exclusive interview with Santa.
"I'm going to ask him for a Jewel-Tastic so I can make my own jewelry," 8-year-old Leslie Fleger said before Santa arrived.
Brother Justin Potter, four, held up the small metal car he'd pulled from his stocking for approval, then conveyed his biggest Christmas wish.
"Handcuffs," he said with a soft urgency, blue eyes large and round. Then he whispered it again. "Handcuffs."
Founded in Carson City in1904, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge #1006 boasts about 400 members and contributes to local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, and Advocates to End Domestic Violence.
An international organization, the Order was founded by six theater owners sitting on a pile of lumber in a Seattle, Washington shipyard in February of 1898. Competitors in the theater industry, they met to discuss a musicians strike and after deciding what to do on that issue they buried the hatchet.
Their first meetings were held on the stages of local theaters. Actors, stagehands and playwrights soon joined the organization and after business a leg of beer was rolled out for a few hours of social activities.
Over the years the Eagles have fought and won many battles for causes like the Workman's Compensation Act and Social Security. They are still fighting to liberalize current social programs as well as aiding the fight against diseases through sponsorship of organizations like the Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund, and the Jimmy Durante Children's Fund.