DON ROBERTS
DON ROBERTS

I can’t help but feel a little sentimental this weekend.

If you've driven along Conner Street by the Hamilton County Courthouse this week, you've likely noticed that the Santa House has been set on the Square, awaiting Santa's official arrival on Sunday in the annual Noblesville Christmas Parade.

For 12 years, Noblesville’s Don Roberts played Santa Claus at the Santa House on the Square. Every year, through 2016, he arrived on the fire truck as the finale for the Parade.

He loved the kids' smiles, the giggles, and the sparkle in their eyes when they shared their wish lists with the jolly ol' elf.
He even built the Santa House, after permission from the City, and housed it off-season on his property at Noblesville Airport.
In 2016, he said his ride in the Parade would be his last as the official Santa because, “I’m just getting too old,” said the then 79-year-old Noblesville native and 1956 graduate of Noblesville High School.

But while he wasn’t listening to wish lists during the 2016 Santa House season, he found another way to make kids smile. Roberts made dollhouses to give away at Christmas and whenever he met a little girl who he thought needed one, said Roberts, a proud U.S. Navy veteran and retired teacher at NHS, where he taught aviation and industrial arts until 1987.
Over the past five years, he donated dollhouses to auctions at Noblesville First United Methoidst Church, where he also started a Veterans Day program, and to his Navy Club chapter. In 2016, he donated 21 of his dollhouses to Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County's Nancy Chance, to give away at Christmas to prequalified families in need.
Don Roberts died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, after suffering a stroke.
This year, as I watch the Noblesville Christmas Parade travel through Downtown at 2 p.m. Sunday, I, as many others in our community, will think of Don Roberts.
As soon as the parade ends, families will flock to the Santa House, where each child will visit with Santa and share Christmas lists, and parents and grandparents will snap photos.
I know Don Roberts would be smiling again at all of the kids.
Because he liked to see kids happy at Christmas.
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The Santa House is open 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday; and also 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 23; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2; and noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 24. Again this year, Santa will pose for photos with adults, couples and pets from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2.
This is a big holiday weekend in Downtown Noblesville. The Tree Lighting officially kicked off the holiday season on Friday night. Noblesville Main Street sponsors the fourth annual Holiday Ice Sculptures with 22 sponsored pre-carved sculptures illuminating Downtown today beginning at 5 p.m., with live demos at 6 p.m.

Downtown businesse today are celebrating Small Business Saturday. The new Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza is open all weekend, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday’s parade steps off from the west parking lot of Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County Campus, 300 N. 17th St., and travels south on 16th Street, west on Logan Street, north on Ninth Street and east on Monument Street, then back to the college.

See ya there!

Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.