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Pancho Claus dishes out gifts during Houston East End tradition

HOUSTON – There's a different kind of emergency in Houston’s East End on Christmas.

It's the kind you don’t run away from, you run toward.

When Pancho Claus comes to town, the only crisis would be missing out.

"I love it. This is the best day of my life," one girl said while getting a present.

It's an event that is anticipated all year by thousands of children and, sometimes, their parents.

Lea Valerio remembers Pancho Claus coming in the 1980s.

"It's just a wonderful spirit. I love it, and the cars are fantastic, too," she said.

Instead of a sleigh, Pancho Clause drives a lowrider full of toys, 10,000 of them to be exact.

"I feel really good. I feel 100 percent. You know, I had the two heart attacks a few months ago," Pancho Claus said.

The man behind the legend, Richard Reyes, is quick to thank the army of elves who make it happen.

"I’m the guy in front right now, but these guys here, they’re the real Pancho Clauses," he said.

Every time you hear sirens, that’s how you know he’s coming.


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