Microphone malfunction silences Santa's countdown

St. Nick vows to try again next year in Rehoboth
December 10, 2013
Even Santa Claus isn't immune to the dangers of modern technology. a microphone malfunction nearly derailed a plan to have Santa start the countdown to light the Rehoboth Beach Christmas tree Nov. 29. BY DENY HOWETH

He may have flying reindeer, including one with a shiny red nose, but it appears even Santa Claus is not immune to the problems of modern technology.

Santa’s microphone cut out on him just as he was supposed to start the countdown for the annual Rehoboth Beach Christmas tree lighting, Nov. 29.

According to Santa himself, Dennis Diehl, he was at his house on the Boardwalk and was supposed to get on the microphone and start the countdown for the tree lighting before throwing the switch for the lights. When the microphone wouldn't work, Main Street President Alyssa Titus had to run over to Santa's house start the countdown.

Titus said the microphone was tested three times during the day and worked fine. But in the hustle leading up to the countdown, she said, the mic was dislodged from the sound system and did not work.

“It was an innocent error,” Titus said.

This was the first year Main Street, which organizes the tree lighting, and the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors Santa’s house on the Boardwalk, collaborated on a joint tree-lighting venture. Titus said the two organizations decided to collaborate so Santa could take part in the tree lighting. Main Street and the chamber have a good working relationship, she said, and Main Street looks forward to working with the chamber again in the future.

Diehl said the goal was to have Santa take part in the tree lighting without leaving his house empty for too long. Carol Everhart, President and CEO of the chamber, said the master of ceremonies thought it would be nice if Santa started the countdown over the house microphone. Unfortunately, she said, it  didn’t work.

Main Street has hosted the tree lighting for the past five years, Everhart said; before then it was run by the city of Rehoboth, she said. Titus said there was no reason the two organizations had never collaborated on the tree lighting before.

“It never was on anyone’s radar,” she said. It was only this year that the suggestion was made to have Santa light the tree.

“I understand many people were confused by the mishap.  I hope everyone will give Santa another try next year,” Diehl said.