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Old Elf's illness threaten parade

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Santa is sick

By Brent Schanding

A sudden sickness could jeopardize an appearance by Santa Claus at Saturday's Shelby County Christmas Parade, although insiders insist Claus will recover in time for the event. 

A Santa spokesperson reported earlier this week the long-time Christmas front man was ill, fueling speculation he might be forced to miss this weekend's parade. It's believed the man -- who's notoriously noted for his love of cookies -- is suffering from a severe stomach ache.

Text messages sent to a cell phone registered under Santa Claus' name went unreturned, but elves at Santa's North Pole toymaking operation denied his alleged illness would prevent the man from making an appearance here.

"If Santa says he will be somewhere, he will be there," the elves wrote in a joint statement to The Sentinel-News. "He hasn't missed a Christmas yet."

Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger also apparently received communication from Claus, confirming his appearance at this weekend's event.   

"Santa Claus will arrive in Shelby County as normal," Rothenburger promised by phone Thursday morning. "All of the kids can be reassured Santa will be here. Come rain or shine, sickness or illness."

Santa has made regular appearances at the annual Christmas parade for decades.

The parade will be 10 a.m. Saturday on Main Street in Shelbyville.