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Tim Cavender

Another Santa Appears at a Christmas Parade

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Tim Cavender

For the past several years, I have produced a Christmas parade that benefits Toys for Tots.  The parade brings in thousands of people to my hometown, plus we receive lots of toys for Toys for Tots.  However, this year I learned that someone in the parade was dressed like Santa Claus handing out candy canes from the truck he was riding in.  One of the parade workers told me that people started leaving thinking that was the end of the parade.  I have staff that watch for things like this, but, unfortunately, this guy put on a part of his Santa suit on while riding in the truck to the start of the parade route.

It was totally disheartening to me that someone would stoop to this level.  The parade participant application states, "DO NOT DRESS LIKE SANTA OR MRS. CLAUS….this confuses the children! You will not be allowed to participate in the parade if you are dressed like Santa or Mrs. Claus."  As Santas, shouldn't we respect one another regarding events such as this? 

Edited by Tim Cavender
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bllwnkl

Many people just don't care. They don't think. They don't read the rules. They don't look at signs. They don't follow directions. They don't...

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SantaJoe

...ya, its a bummer! But I try to look at it as they are a fan. 

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Felix Estridge

Folks during the route needs to be looking out for it & having them removed from the parade.

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Santa Johnny Boy

They should be banned from appearing in future parades...

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SCSanta

Unacceptable behavior. Possibly understandable if it was a person in the crowd or if the parade organizers were unclear about protocol...but this isn't what happened here. It was either premeditated or selfishly ego centered.

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Santa G

That’s really sad, and it just seems that each year we see more and more dumb behaviour like this and the lack of respect for the character by a growing portion of the public. I hope you can find out who it was and ensure he never gets to be in the parade again.

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Tommy

What I'm seeing is people read the rules, but then think, "oh, those rules don't apply to me."  I see this happening in lots of places.  Then when the rule breaker gets called out on it, he/she gets angry.  What do you think is gonna happen when you break a plainly stated rule?   I'm all for extending mercy and grace, but corrective action has to take place.  

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Black River Santa

Unacceptable and confusing for the kids. I would try to get a name or at least the name of the organization that sponsored the float and have a parade official let them know beforehand that it won't be allowed this year.

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MagicalMrsClaus

Holy holy holy crap. Noooo that is so SO bad. I am so sorry that happened!

That member should be banned from your event, or at minimum suspended for a year. If he was with a group or organization, they need to be contacted as well. 

How long is your parade route? Do you have enough staffing to have someone standing every quarter mile (or whatever) to keep an eye on things? That may also be really helpful for other potential problems, emergencies, etc.

Do you have to treat grown adults like children and offer them alternatives so they don't cause problems? Maybe add a costume bit specifically encouraging costumes of Elves, Victorian carolers, Dickens characters, Live nativity scenes, etc. Throw in an award for best character or float. Maybe then they won't be as interested in dressing as Santa? 

I'm curious, if hypothetically someone were to catch someone doing this during the parade progression, what would they do to stop it? Jump on the float? Approach it as it was rolling? I'm just curious for my own knowledge because I work in the events industry and while I have never seen this happen, I don't know what I would do! 

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Felix Estridge

If you know with what group, club, or organization they were with, I would have the parade committee contact them to let them know they will not be participating this year unless they can abide by the rules and to specify which rule they broke.

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Santa TJS

I had it happen last season at a charity Hockey Game where Saanta was to arrive greet the teams ,drop the puck, Some guy showed up in a party store outfit and tried to work his way into the crowd and was stoped prior to getting to the ice. I got many questions from the smaller children who was the other Santa.Just unacceptable, 

 

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Michael Rielly

I had a similar issue with the Grand Illumination in Bristol, RI. Some guy showed up 2 years ago doing the same thing. Long story short, I met with the chief of police and the mayor. The police now escort any and all fake Santas off the premises during the hours of the event.

This may sound harsh, but there are deeper implications here than just some $#@! crashing your gig. Namely liability issues.

This seems to be happening to Santas more and more lately and is one of my biggest pet peeves in the Santa community. Not sure what it is other than ego or just plain stupidity, but for some reason these guys think it is perfectly okay to crash another Santa's event. They show up and work the crowd passing out business cards and candy canes. Meanwhile, you are doing your best to stay in character and entertain, while in the corner of your eye you can see fake Santa working the crowd. Luckily for me, I have a really good relationship with most of the police officers in my town. They love going after impersonators.

I cannot stress enough how wrong this is. It is low, unprofessional, rude, and just plan ignorant. If you are planning doing this or think it is a good way to promote yourself, please consider your fellow brothers and sisters in red.

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