PRINCE ALBERT -- Cristen Toutsaint, a secretary with the Father Porte Memorial Dene School in Black Lake, helped decorate the foyer with fellow faculty and students in preparation for the arrival of Santa and his helpers.

Students look forward to Santa Flies North all year, she said. This is the event’s 19th year.

“Kids really enjoy seeing Santa here because it only happens once a year and we don’t really have Santa in town.”

The two-day trip set off early Friday morning. Boxes filled with toys and mandarins were brought to be given to the children in Fond Du Lac, Black Lake, Stoney Rapids and Wollaston Lake.

Santa and his elves spent most of the trip connecting with children and speaking with members of the community.

Transwest Air business development officer Patty Hughes has organized trip for the past five years. Preparation for the venture begins in August when toys for children 10 and under are gathered for the excursion.

“It’s really important for the kids to be able to sit down with Santa and it seems so real to them and that’s really important for us.”

In each community, children lined the halls with excitement as they waited to sit on Santa’s lap. Around 1,500 gifts were given out this year.