The revival of a Leesburg holiday tradition continues on Saturday when Santa is scheduled to fly into town.

On this trip, he’ll be leaving Donner, Blitzen and the crew at home to rest before their big round-the-world marathon; instead he’ll be traveling by helicopter, landing at the Virginia Village shopping center.

The special visit was an annual event starting in the 1960s but ended in the mid-1980s. Brian Cullen of Keane Enterprises revived it after purchasing the commercial complex last year and finding photos of past events.

Santa is scheduled to land at 10 a.m. and then to stay though the afternoon to meet with children. In addition to chatting and grabbing a photo with Santa, children can pick out gifts for their parents at no charge in the kids-only store. Visitors are encouraged to bring a new toy, book or piece of athletic equipment to be donated to the Loudoun County YMCA.

If poor weather prevents a helicopter flight, Santa has made alternate transportation arrangements with the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company. Because the area will be blocked off during the helicopter’s landing and take off and vendors will be setting up for the farmers market, off-site parking is recommended.

Last year, the event drew several hundred spectators.

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The Virginia Village shopping center continues a long Loudoun tradition on Saturday, setting up a landing pad for Santa to visit town by helicopter. Here the crowd greets Santa during his 2017 landing.
[Loudoun Now File Photo]