MARQUETTE - There was a special visitor at the Westwood Mall Friday who had children smiling from ear to ear, a reindeer.
Noel is a 2-year-old female reindeer from Juneau's Christmas Tree and Reindeer Farm in Foster, Mich. Children gathered around her pen at Westwood Mall Friday during her third visit.
"The mall has us come every year and Noel just loves it," said owner Mike Juneau.
As the children walk up to see the reindeer they ask Juneau questions about her. According to Juneau, the most frequently asked question is: can she fly?
"I always them that she can only fly on Christmas Eve with magic dust from Santa Claus," Juneau said.
Izzy Korpi, 8, and her brother Luke Korpi, 4, were walking in the mall when they came across Noel.
"I think she's pretty cool," Izzy Korpi said.
Both Korpis asked the owner questions, like why a girl reindeer has antlers and how many babies she was going to have because she's due in April or May.
The Westwood Mall has been bringing a reindeer to the mall for the past 10 years and everyone seems to really enjoy it, said Ellen Sargent, mall manager.
"We have people call in in the fall asking when the reindeer is going to be here," Sargent said.
According to Sargent, it's become a tradition for some families to come to the mall to see the reindeer ever year - and the mall enjoys it as well.
"I think that we would probably get on everybody's grinch list if we were to stop," Sargent said.
Sargent said she's noticed all of the kids love the reindeer.
"It always amazes me that children who are terrified of Santa would love to get into the pen with the antlers and the hooves," Sargent said.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.