Story and photos by DOTTY NIST
Elves bearing gifts were seen pedaling along CR-30A on Dec. 4.
This was the fourth Christmas trek in what has become a tradition for the season in Walton County.
Participants in the Elf Ride gathered at Seaside, leaving there as a group on decorated bicycles and other nonmotorized vehicles and on foot, carrying gifts that will go to children all over the county. This year Santa Claus and his helper were among them.
The elves’ destination was the South Walton Fire District’s (SWFD) WaterColor Station, where the gifts were stacked together for delivery to local children who might otherwise find nothing under their Christmas tree. The elves were treated to refreshments, and children were able to sit with Santa. Prizes were awarded to honor the youngest rider, the best costume, and the best-decorated bicycle.
SWFD Chief Administrator Rick Talbert called it “an honor and a privilege” to host the event. He added that the SWFD gets “officially in the Christmas spirit” when the Elf Ride takes place.
Luke Thompson, known as “Grand Elf”, thanked all the elves for participating. He revealed that the event had produced approximately 50 gifts. Those are to go to children in all areas of the county through the Caring and Sharing charitable organization.
Thompson, with the help of his friends and the proud support of his mother Le Thompson, created the Elf Ride as a sixth grader and has continued as lead organizer for the event each year since 2008.