Santa Claus rode around local communities spreading Christmas spirit and greeting local families at Marine Corps Air Station New River during the Santa Express event, Dec. 2.

Col. Russell Burton, commanding officer for Marine Corps Air Station New River, along with Sgt. Maj. Charles Metzger, Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Air Station New River, joined with members of the Atlantic Marine Corps Community while giving candy to children as they rode around in a hay wagon pulled by a tractor.

The Camp Lejeune Provost Marshals Office and emergency services of Marine Corps Air Station New River escorted the wagon in a parade throughout the community to greet families as they drove by.

"It’s an opportunity to make this station more than just a place to come to work," said Burton. "It’s an actual community and this is one more thing to make this station feel like a community. The sergeant major and I are providing some support by riding in the parade along with them."

Bringing joy to people with the spirit of Christmas is AMCC’s goal with the Santa Express event.

"It always puts you in the Christmas spirit just seeing the children’s faces and the families," said Cassie Sapp, community manager for MCAS New River. "They just get so excited, you can’t help but be in a good mood when you’re going through the neighborhood, passing out candy and watching the kids wave and get pumped up about Christmas and Santa Claus."

Children ran beside the hay wagon to cheer and sing as Santa Claus waved to families in throughout the community.

"I had a great time getting to see the families and the kids out there running around," said Burton. "It looked like everyone had a good time and I just want to say I hope everybody enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it on."