Sunday was a day more than 3,000 local children will never forget.

The Calgary Fire Department held its 45th annual Christmas toy party for many of the city’s less fortunate families.

The children and their families crammed into the Stampede Corral for the big party.

More than 4,000 volunteers did their part to ensure the children had a great time.

Every child in attendance received a gift and the families were treated to a lunch and free entertainment.

The star of the show was Santa.  His arrival brought smiles to the children who had been waiting for weeks for the big day to arrive.

“It’s a joy for firefighters to give back to local communities,” says Jamie Blayney, a representative of the Calgary Fire Dept Toy Association.  “Most firefighters look forward to it all year around.”

The families were recommended by the Salvation Army and Calgary school boards based on needs.