Santa Claus visits patients at Mary Free Bed hospital

Santa made a visit at Mary Free Bed hospital.

Santa and his elves visited Mary Free Bed hospital Friday night, Nov. 8. More than 75 current and former pediatric patients attended the Christmas Party.

This was the 63rd year of holiday event known as Dr. Swanson's Mary Free Bed Christmas Party.

The annual tradition was started by Dr. Alfred Swanson who used to dress as a cowboy to entertain the children in the hospital. Swanson worked at Mary Free Bed for more than 50 years.

Swanson died in April 2016, but the party continues with help from the Alfred B. Swanson Foundation. 

Each child who attends -- either patients or family -- gets a present from Santa (that was wrapped by Swanson's wife, Dr. Genevieve DeGroot-Swanson). 

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