There was a big reaction in Lodi when it was announced that Santa was not going to make the rounds handing out lollipops this year. The annual tradition from the districts that operate out of the township’s central fire district was going to be changed so that citizens would come to Santa instead of Santa traveling by foot around the districts greeting the children.

According to, the fire chief, Archie Dowson, estimates he walked over 13 miles last year. Instead of traipsing around this year, the fire department was going to set up four locations where people could come to them.

That caused quite an uproar in Lodi, with the chief saying he fielded over 100 calls and the office of emergency management having to clear their voicemail twice; the news was spread via Facebook and the sentiment was heavily against the change. The firemen held an emergency meeting and decided to revert to the old way of doing things. The chief is not making any promises for next year, however, saying they may just try to get word of the change out earlier.

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