The first time the Santa bug hit Pete Wyatt was when he was wearing a red and green tousle baseball cap and several little kids told him he looked like old St. Nick.
The Coudersport, Pa., retiree has literally never been the same since. These days, Mr. Wyatt can be seen around his rural Potter County community with thick white hair, a bushy beard and greetings of holiday cheer for children and adults alike.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, he’ll have his first official Santa job when he flips the switch for the Festival of Lights activities in Coudersport’s Town Square. He’ll ride up to the festival in a fire truck and later will speak to children.
Mr. Wyatt, a retired computer programmer, said preparation for his Santa role followed several months of preparation that included completion of the School4Santas program in Connecticut. He said his new avocation came by chance last year while wearing a holiday hat around town.