LARGEST U.S. MALL GETS A NEW SANTA
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