Santa Claus and Rockettes stop traffic in Manhattan

NEW YORK – The calendar says August, but that didn’t stop Santa Claus from visiting midtown Manhattan and snarling a section of Sixth Avenue, much to the bafflement of tourists and the frustration of drivers forced to idle their vehicles.

Father Christmas, along with 15 Rockettes costumed as rag dolls, stood on a Radio City Music Hall porch on Thursday as 12 Rockettes dressed as toy soldiers marched on the street below to perform the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

It was a 6-minute promotional event for “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” which starts Nov. 7.

“Merry Christmas!” said Santa. “And I want to see you all at the show this year.”

The Radio City Christmas show has been a tradition in New York City for more than 80 years, going back to its first performance in 1933.

For the record, there are 132 days until Christmas.