LARGEST U.S. MALL GETS A NEW SANTA

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

bloomington, minn.» The na­tion’s largest mall is host­ing its first-ever black Santa Claus this week­end.

The Star-Tri­bune re­ported that the Mall of Amer­ica in suburban Minneapolis hired Larry Jef­fer­son to play Kris Kringle from Thurs­day to Sun­day as part of its Santa Ex­pe­ri­ence.

Santa Ex­pe­ri­ence co-owner Lan­don Luther said they “want Santa to be for ev­ery­one, pe­riod.”

With that in mind, he told the news­pa­per that he launched a na­tion­wide search for a di­verse Santa and found Jef­fer­son at a Santa con­ven­tion in Bran­son, Mo., dur­ing the sum­mer. He was the only black Santa among the 1,000 im­per­son­ators in at­ten­dance.

Jef­fer­son told WCCO-TV that play­ing the jolly old elf is “no big deal” to him, adding: “I’m still Santa. I just hap­pen to be a Santa of color.”

Jef­fer­son will re­turn home to play Santa in the Dallas area af­ter Sun­day. The As­so­ci­ated Press

Larry Jef­fer­son poses as Santa with a child at the Mall of Amer­ica in Bloomington, Minn., on Thurs­day. Leila Navidi, Star-Tri­bune

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