Santa Claus and his famous reindeer team received an official green light to fly over Pennsylvania skies this Christmas Eve.
In a joint announcement on Wednesday at HersheyPark, Gov. Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and State Veterinarian Dr. Alex Hamberg confirmed that Santa’s reindeer are in perfect health and ready for their yearly festive journey.
The event, featuring Santa and his reindeer team – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph – served as a public assurance of Santa’s readiness to deliver toys across Pennsylvania.
Shapiro emphasized the joy and unity the holiday season brings to Pennsylvanians, regardless of the holidays they celebrate.
“This is a time for family, for generosity, for finding a bit of light – also a time to remember folks like our state vets who serve our communities every day and help ensure Santa can make it safely to every community in PA. Merry Christmas!” he said.
The clearance for the reindeer’s flight was initially granted by Alaska’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Robert F. Gerlach, who issued a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.
Pennsylvania’s state veterinarian then reviewed the certificate and declared the reindeer healthy for their “toy delivery by air” mission across all 67 counties.
Certificates of Veterinary Inspection are essential for ensuring that contagious diseases do not spread across state lines, officials said.
Parents and children across Pennsylvania can now look forward to Christmas Eve and can be assured Santa’s reindeer are ready for their important task of delivering gifts to the good boys and girls.
Redding assured the public that, despite the reindeer’s unique characteristics, including Rudolph’s shiny red nose and their ability to fly, they are in excellent health. He credited their well-being to the diligent care provided by Santa’s team at the North Pole.