Santa Claus lands at Beale for Children's Holiday Party

Santa Claus greets Beale youth during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10, 2011 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. The head elf was taxied into dock by an Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft, sporting nose art portraying Rudolf. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

Santa Claus greets Beale youth during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10, 2011 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. The head elf was taxied into dock by an Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft, sporting nose art portraying Rudolf. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

9th Reconnaissance Wing leadership introduces Santa Claus to a crowd of Airmen during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. More than 1,500 members of Team Beale attended the holiday celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

9th Reconnaissance Wing leadership introduces Santa Claus to a crowd of Airmen during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. More than 1,500 members of Team Beale attended the holiday celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

An Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft, sports nose art portraying Rudolf during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. Santa Claus taxied into Dock 6 to meet more than 1,500 members of Team Beale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

An Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft, sports nose art portraying Rudolf during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. Santa Claus taxied into Dock 6 to meet more than 1,500 members of Team Beale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

A member of the Wheatland High School Band plays during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. Attendees participated in crafts, face painting, free food and presents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

A member of the Wheatland High School Band plays during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10 at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif. Attendees participated in crafts, face painting, free food and presents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

Jenny Yates, a member of Beale's Officer Spouses Club, paints the face of a Beale youth at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif., during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10. More than 75 volunteers from Beale and the surrounding community worked since before Halloween to make the celebration possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

Jenny Yates, a member of Beale's Officer Spouses Club, paints the face of a Beale youth at Dock 6, Beale AFB, Calif., during the Children's Holiday Party Dec. 10. More than 75 volunteers from Beale and the surrounding community worked since before Halloween to make the celebration possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Santa Claus taxied into Dock 6 in a themed U-2 Dragon Lady for the Children's Holiday Party while more than 1,500 members of Team Beale lined the entry control point preparing for his arrival Dec. 10.

After exiting the aircraft painted with Rudolph nose art, Santa was rushed by the Beale youth in the crowd.

"This is really a well organized event that brings a lot of families together and you can't beat having Santa fly in and make such a memorable moment for these children," said Staff Sgt. Adam Nelson, who attended with his wife and four children. "Being able to have a whole afternoon of activities and celebration like this means a lot."

More than 75 volunteers from Beale and the surrounding community provided face painting, pictures, crafts, other activities and food while the Wheatland High School Band played holiday music throughout the event.

"Seeing the joy in the children's face when they see Santa taxi up in the U-2 is really the driving factor motivating all of us who were involved with planning and executing this party," said Master Sgt. Shane Griego, point of contact for the event. "It is especially moving to be able to outreach to those families who have a deployed loved one during this time of year."

Each child attending received a gift donated by local businesses. Griego said planning for the event started in September and the volunteers have been wrapping the gifts since before Halloween. Altogether 1,500 gifts were wrapped and distributed.

"This event would not have been possible without the support of all the volunteers from throughout Team Beale," he said. "They were instrumental in the success of this party."