The year was 1993. In 1993, the Eastern United States was hit by a deadly blizzard stretching from Canada to Central America during March, the World Wide Web was born at CERN in April, and visitors were allowed for the first time to go inside Buckingham Palace in August. Source: Wikipedia
The date was November 26, 1993. It was the day after Thanksgiving. The number one song on the Billboard Charts in America was the popular I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) by Meat Loaf. I would celebrate my 4th birthday the following day.
In Greensboro, North Carolina, small but interesting retail history was made. At 11:30 AM that day, Carolina Circle Mall's Santa Claus hopped in a helicopter and parachuted into the Carolina Circle Mall parking lot, just outside of the main entrance. After all, this was Black Friday and Carolina Circle Mall simply wanted to do something spectacular to kickoff the Christmas shopping season.
I actually remember this. Unfortunately, I was not at Carolina Circle Mall when Santa parachuted in, although I did go to Montgomery Ward much earlier that morning for some shopping. I recall watching WFMY News 2 that evening and watching a video they shot of Santa parachuting into the mall. As a three year old who was about to turn four, I simply assumed it was a video of Santa's sleigh flying over Carolina Circle Mall!
Interestingly, another aerial mall entrance was made two months later on January 7, 1994. Three Elvis Impersonators titled "The Flying Elvises", skydived and parachuted down to the Carolina Circle Mall main entrance. No, I do not know why people had to make such crazy entrances into Carolina Circle Mall instead of parking their car in the parking lot and simply walking into the mall.
As for Santa, I have gotten very interested in this parachute event, particularly because last Wednesday (November 26, 2008) was the 15th anniversary of this event. If anyone has any more information they would like to share about the Parachuting Santa Claus, please notify me.
Oh, and if this post looks kind of funny, it's because I'm trying out a new way of blogging by using Microsoft Word.