Black Santa is coming to town — or at least to the mall! In its 24-year history, historic landmark Minneapolis’s Mall of America is welcoming their first ever Black Santa. The real bearded Santa hails from Texas and goes by the name Larry Jefferey-Gamble.
“I enjoy making people smile and be happy. During the holidays, people go through a lot,” he told the Huffington Post.
Larry discovered his love for Christmas and dressing up as Santa was he was just 12 years old and had to take over the holiday duties when his father fell ill. Years later he put the suit back on and started doing volunteer work as Santa. After retiring from the military in 2014, Larry attended Santa school, and the rest is history.
Chances are he’ll be in high demand, so don’t wait to get your photo-op with Black Santa. He’ll only be at the MOA for from Thursday, December, 1 to Sunday, December 4 by appointment only (requires purchase of a photo package).
This Kris Kringle isn’t worried one bit whether kids will notice he’s a Black Santa.
“Kids love Santa no matter what color you are,” he said. His sentiments are as long as you’ve got the red suit, the beard and some candy “you’re a winner.”
Still for little Black boys and girls, he realizes the impact he’s making.
“It gives them something to identify with,” Larry told CBS Minnesota, “but Santa is still just Santa.”
Find out more info on the Mall of America’s Santa Experience here.
(Photo: Santa Larry Jefferson via Facebook)
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