LONG BEACH — Santa walked into City Hall this week with a blue parrot perched atop his shoulder and a bag filled with goodies.
The City Council meeting Tuesday was barely under way when "Santa Ski"--a.k.a. businessman Thomas (Ski) Demski--stepped in with a loud "Ho, Ho, Ho."
Mayor Ernie Kell stopped the proceedings, saying: "We always take Santa out of order whenever he shows up, once a year."
Demski, known for his giant flags and 125-foot flagpole outside his home on 4th Street and Lime Avenue, wore a red outfit topped with a Santa Claus cap. With his white beard and mustache and his round belly, Demski looked the part as he gave each council member a Christmas tree ornament that read "May she always fly high and free."
The owner of a Long Beach bumper sticker business, Demski often has flag-raising ceremonies outside his home-business. Demski's flagpole these days is a Christmas tree with 5,000 feet of red, green and yellow streamers.