St. Louis Aquarium to debut ‘Scuba Santa’ after Thanksgiving


ST. LOUIS – Visitors to the new St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station were treated to an unusual site as Santa made a surprise appearance – swimming alongside the fish and sharks. 

“When what to my wondering eyes did appear…” but a Scuba Claus and an elf, minus the reindeer. 

“COVID has put a spin on all our traditions,” said Tami Brown, executive director of the St. Louis Aquarium. “But now you get to visit with the big guy but now you’re between seven inches of acrylic and salt water. You can still make your wishes and wave and get pictures. It’s the perfect set-up for this crazy COVID season.” 

The big guy is going to be busy between now and Dec. 25. Because of COVID, trying to chat with Saint Nick isn’t going to be easy. So, enter Scuba Claus, the most socially distant way to see Santa in 2020. 

This was a dry run or, rather, a wet run inside the old train station. 

Suba Claus will be making routine dives in the 250,000-gallon Shark Canyon habit, swimming with six different species of sharks, three kinds of rays, two sea turtles, and thousands of fish. 

“It starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and goes Saturdays and Sundays and a few extra days before Christmas Eve,” Brown said. 

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