LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The most festive fire truck in the area hit the streets on Thursday for the first time this holiday season.

WDRB Photojournalist Jonathan McEmber was there as Zoneton firefighters drove Santa Claus around the community in the department's "Santa Truck," which made its 2021 debut on Wednesday.

The tour started Thursday with a moment to remember Chief Rob Orkies and Battalion Chief Garry Key, who died of complications from COVID-19 last year. The first stop was at Brookland Cemetery, where Orkies is buried. The last stop on the last day of the tour will be at Key's home, the department said. Both stops give the department "time of reflection and respect."

The truck is completely covered in more than 80,000 bright-colored Christmas lights and even features Santa's sleigh. It takes about three weeks to decorate.

The department will visit dozens of neighborhoods with the truck over the next few weeks for Santa to greet local families. It's an opportunity firefighters love because they get to interact with the community.

Zoneton Fire posts the "Santa Truck's" route daily on their Facebook page, here.

Related Stories:

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.