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Santa Claus is coming to town: Reindeer cleared to fly across Missouri

Rudolph’s red nose will be lighting the way this Christmas as Santa visits all the good boys and girls in Missouri.
Credit: vectorfusionart - stock.adobe.co

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! You’re now clear for flight across Missouri – and that includes you too, Rudolph!

The Missouri Department of Agriculture Wednesday approved a key piece of the Christmas night magic. The state officially granted a “livestock movement permit” to Santa Claus, meaning all nine of his reindeer are healthy and his sleigh can safely travel throughout Missouri.

Rudolph also underwent an additional evaluation. It turns out he really is the most famous reindeer of all.

Rudolph’s red nose will be lighting the way Friday night into Christmas morning as Santa visits all the good Missouri boys and girls. Of course, the big man himself is also getting help from his little elves sitting on shelves.

“I’m excited to see so many deserving children receive the Christmas cheer they are longing for,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Santa and his team of elves have worked hard to prepare for the season. We’re excited to do our part to make sure the holidays can be celebrated across Missouri.”

A trek across Missouri can be exhausting. I mean, have you ever driven from St. Louis to Kansas City? And Santa will go to all corners of the state, from the Gateway to the West, to the City of Fountains, the Ozarks, the Bootheel and everywhere in between.

So, Missouri children are encouraged to help fuel Santa and his sleigh. No gasoline necessary, just plenty of milk and cookies for the worldwide trek.

And don’t forget about the reindeer!

“As a veterinarian, I also recommended to Mr. Claus a healthy diet of Missouri grass hay for the reindeers’ long journey,” said Dr. Steve Strubberg. “I encourage Missouri farmers and ranchers to put some hay out for the reindeer on Christmas Eve in addition to their milk and cookies.”

Families will be able to track Santa and his reindeer as they traverse the globe later this week. The North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website is on standby to follow their every move.