How long have you played Santa Claus for the Audubon Neighborhood?
I have been “Santa” for the Johnson street merchants for I believe, 5 or 6 years now, after being asked by Mary (former owner of Audubon Coffee) if that was something I would be interested in, knowing that my wife Tracy and I have a children’s party company, Half Pint Parties: www.halfpintparties.com where I dress up as many other characters as well, Woody, Pirate, Indy Jones, Superman…
Why do you do this each year?
The reason I do this for the Audubon merchants is because even though I live in Columbia Park Neighborhood, Audubon is really my neighborhood since I have spent much more time here, making a daily stop at The Coffee Shop etc.
What do you enjoy about playing Santa?
What I really like about dressing up as the BIG GUY is the magic of it, what I mean is that when I don the suit, and the kids come up to me wide-eyed, and really believe, it is a wonderful experience, I become Christmas for them!
What are some of your memories?
I have had many years of memories as Santa, some very entertaining such as the time one boy had a list of 50+ items on his list!!! And also the heart wrenching type, like when a little 5 or 6 year old girl asked me to bring her Dad home again, and when I asked where he was, she told me that her Mom and Dad were divorced… it’s hard to deliver on that that one!
How many typically visit you at the Coffee Shop?
For the Audubon event we have had anywhere from 25 to 40 kids in years past, usually on a Thursday night in mid-Dec.
Do any of the children recognize you under the Santa outfit?
I’m not sure, but I think a few of the older kids maybe are getting wise to who I am, especially when they whisper “Hi Troy” to me during the event, oh well, as long as they keep the secret!
This year’s visit with Santa will be held on Sunday, December 5th, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at The Coffee Shop NE at 2852 Johnson St. NE.
Kids can tell Santa what they would like for Christmas, get some treats, and sing some Christmas songs. Santa will also read T’was The Night Before Christmas” too.
Corbett Vanoni will also be on site drawing caricatures.
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