Santa’s sleigh came early to New Haven, making a pit stop at the Yale Bookstore on Friday evening. The Bookstore will host Santa in their children’s section each weekend until Christmas Eve, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Two children interviewed at the event said they were excited to see Santa — one girl said she loves Mr. Claus, while her sister noted, as she clutched her new Barbie Christmas book, that seeing Santa Claus made her happy.

One parent at the event, John Ferrucci, said one of the best things about having a Santa in New Haven is that there is no line, as opposed to what one might find at the mall. John came to visit Santa with his wife Vallerie and their daughter Fiona last year, and had such a positive experience they came back for round two.

The Santa Claus in the New Haven Barnes and Noble is the city’s “best kept secret,” Vallerie Ferrucci said, while John Ferrucci pointed out that Santa’s beard is real.

University Properties will be distributing complimentary cards with a photo inside, as well as CDs containing digital copies of all the photos taken.