Swimming with the Fishes: Scuba Santa

DUBUQUE, IA – There are many fish that visitors can see at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. However, a strange creature made an appearance on Saturday, December, 2nd, and Sunday, December 3rd, 2017. Reporter Levi Bernhard covered the story.

According to Andrew Brunner, Assistant Marketing Manager at the River Museum, the organization wanted to give Santa a short vacation before he traveled to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. He said, “Santa’s, you know, usually in the cold all day, taking these trips from the North Pole all around the world, so we figured we would give him a little bit of a holiday to start off his journey for the year…”

Their idea of a “holiday” for Santa, however, involved having the jolly old elf swimming with the fishes in the museum’s Gulf of Mexico saltwater fish tank. Brunner said, “We started it a couple years ago, and we’re looking to do it every year. It’s been popular and keeps growing, so it’s something we want to keep going…”

Popular is an understatement, since hundreds of kids and their families attended each event on Saturday and Sunday. Bernhard reports that he barely had room to navigate his camera to capture shots. The kids came because they could line up and have their pictures taken with Santa swimming in the background. Brunner said that the kids love it, and that while it was a different environment, the event was overall reminiscent of the department store Santa Claus, except that the kids couldn’t really ask for gifts through the water and glass.

The kids had fun, but what about Santa? Is he okay being in close interaction with the museum’s sea life? After all, he is in a container with a variety of fish, wearing his suit and scuba gear. Brunner responded, “You know, maybe the first time he stepped in a few years ago, he might have had a little trepidation, but I think it’s really become a cool experience for him to start off his holiday journey…”

This just goes to show the lengths Santa will go to deliver presents. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to deliver any presents under the ocean this year!

For LCTV News, I’m Levi Bernhard.

Special thanks to the National Mississippi River Museum for allowing our reporter to capture the story.

You can see the entire video on our LCTV YouTube channel.

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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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