Santa put in some overtime this year.
In honor of his late nephew, AJ, Gary Blain will fly his Bell 210 helicopter on Christmas Eve from from 5 to 6:30 p.m., spreading holiday cheer in Lockwood, Billings and Laurel.
Gary Blain, co-owner of Billings Flying Service, talks about flying Santa around Billings on Christmas Eve. The tradition has been carried out since 1981.
Terrieannah Cramer talks to Santa after Santa brought gifts from the Downtown Billings Rotary to students at Orchard Elementary School in Billings Wednesday December 18, 2013.
Charlie Jerke has played the part of Santa Claus for the past 10 years. He got his start as Santa when he was asked to fill in after a school music booster fell sick and was unable to play the part.
Volunteers have pulled on their Santa hats, and are answering phone lines and monitoring wall-size tracking screens as NORAD Tracks Santa begins its 57th annual goodwill mission.
Santa takes a break from seeing children at the Rimrock Mall to visit with children in the pediatrics unit of St. Vincent Healthcare.
Santa holds 5-day-old Chase McHenry of Billings during his visit to the pediatrics unit at St. Vincent Healthcare on Wednesday.
Santa hugs Cameron Hilliard, 9, during his visit to the pediatrics unit at St. Vincent Healthcare on Wednesday.
Santa takes a break from seeing children at the Rimrock Mall to visit with 4 1/2-month-old twins Daniel and Lucas Zemke in the pediatrics unit of St. Vincent Healthcare on Wednesday.
Students at Lockwood Head Start received a visit from Santa, played by Roger Bernhardt, on Tuesday. The children received a gift bag after their visit. Bernhardt has been to the North Park Head Start for the past several years, but this was his first visit to the Lockwood location.
Al Wise,, a real-bearded Santa, waves to cars in front of his studio space on 24th Street West on Friday. As a mall santa, Wise said he felt rushed. With his own studio and store in Billings, he said he can spend more time with children.
Keeping kids occupied can be a big challenge. Here are some ideas for activities to keep young ones engaged -- body and mind -- in Billings this week:
The historic Billings Depot is hosting the children’s event, The Polar Express, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9. There will be two shows each day at 4 and 7 p.m.
With a script and score by Meredith Wilson, “Miracle on 34th Street” brings a holiday tradition to life on stage on Saturday at the Alberta Bair Theater. ...
A man who only gave his name as “Santa” warms his hands over a wood-burning stove as Susie Parke looks on Thursday in Casper, Wyo. “Santa” runs his own tree lot up the road a bit and stopped by to wish his friendly competition a Merry Christmas.
Above, Santa and Mrs Claus wave to kids along Westgate Drive in Lockwood on Saturday. Top right, Marih, 2, and her mom, Brandi Lafranier, wave to Santa along Spotted Jack Loop. At right, Ashlyn Horsman, 8, and her brother Grant, 1, watch for St. Nick to pass by the corner of Kingwood Drive a…