In case you missed getting your family portrait with Santa Claus at the Tehachapi Depot and Railroad Museum, don't fret. Santa will make appearances for the next two Saturdays, Dec. 8 and 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Following Breakfast with Santa held early Saturday morning, the Santa at the Depot fundraiser was the next event held to kick off the holidays locally.
Each year, the Friends of the Tehachapi Depot hosts the Santa event as a fundraiser for the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum to help with operating costs and to keep admission free.
First to arrive to sit on Santa's lap was Tanner Sinclair, 8, of Lake Elizabeth, and his brother, Cole, 5. Tanner reports being a good boy this year, and asked for a toy which he went into great detail describing. Cole said he wants a dirt bike for Christmas, and said he was also a good boy this year.
The Peterson children were next to arrive and sit on Santa's lap.
Cobi Peterson, 9, said all she wanted for Christmas was headphones, which Santa said he was pretty sure the elves would make for her since she was a good girl. Her sister, Leighton, who turned 4 the day before, was very shy when asked what she wanted for Christmas, and even shyer when it came time to sit on Santa's lap.
"I think she wants a dollhouse," said her mother, Carol Peterson, who ended up sitting on Santa's lap first before Leighton would agree to sit on her mother's lap as a way of getting all three in the photo with Santa.
Kindly accepting donations for the wonderful array of baked goods available to visitors was Friends of the Depot volunteer of 10 years Carol Westover.
"We have a lot of wonderful volunteers that do a lot of baking," Westover said. "We depend on a successful bake sale as well as photos with Santa at Christmastime to carry us through the year financially. It keeps the lights on and the trains running."
Family portraits with Santa cost $20, which includes two 5 x 7-inch photos and four wallet size photos, perfect to give as holiday gifts.
"The photos are for everybody, and girls like photos, too," laughed Westover.
According to Sheryl Bovi, gift shop manager for the Depot Museum and board member of the Friends of the Depot, visitors can also come see the G-Scale model train that will be on display during the Santa at the Depot events, which will also be available for viewing throughout December.
"We have an absolutely fantastic large-scale train layout in the Freight Room that people come from all over to see," Bovi said. "We are asked every year if we are going to have the train. It's all set up, and ready to go."
In addition, the gift shop carries an array of ideas for Christmas gifts.
The Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum was founded by Doug Pickard, husband to Bovi, who continues to be ever present in its operation as one of its many volunteers.
"We also have a special calendar for $2," laughed Pickard holding up a 2002 calendar that will ironically be good for the 2019 new year. "It has all the pictures of the railroad, and still good for next year."
For more information, contact the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum, located at 101 W. Tehachapi Blvd., at 823-1100.