Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Andrew M. Serri wanted to start a new tradition at Basin Electric, and the cooperative did it up in style.
Every year, the Headquarters campus is decorated with wonderful white Christmas lights. This year, though, one tree will stand out.
One nice big tree on the front lawn is decorated with colored lights, and employees got to decorate it all the way to the top with ornaments!
See more photos in the gallery on our website: Christmas tree trimming at Basin ElectricKris Kringle came to Headquarters!
If you ask his name, he’ll tell you only that he goes by Santa Claus or Kris Kringle, but Paul Levchak is well-known around Basin Electric. He is Staff Counsel Deb Levchak’s husband.
He first started dressing as Santa after an encounter in a Minneapolis mall when he was about 42 years old. “I was sitting down on one of the benches, resting while Christmas shopping. I had a red and black plaid coat on, and a Santa hat I had bought earlier. My beard had very little white in it, but a little boy came up to me. I saw his dad standing in the distance, watching and smiling. The boy asked, ‘Are you?’ I said, ‘What do you think?’ He said, ‘Could be.’ So I told him to tell me what he wanted for Christmas.”
Levchak says from then on, he ordered a Santa costume and has added details to it throughout the years. “I don’t look like the commercial ‘ho, ho, ho’ type of Santa Claus, and that’s more my style. I let kids sit beside me, rather than sit on my lap, if they want. Kids never question that I’m real.”Basin Electric Demonstration Coordinator Kim Kranz was one of the employees who rode the lift all the way to the top of the tree to hang an ornament.
The tree is 40 feet tall, and employees wore all necessary safety gear, including a harness.
Watch the video to see her perspective.