PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Santa wants to wish Portsmouth students peace, love and soul this holiday season.
The Soul Santa Jingle Bell Brunch will stop at the Bide A Wee Pavilion for the “Claus for a Clause” event on Saturday, December 16. A portion of the proceeds will go toward paying school lunch debt for local students.
This event is special in particular because Hampton Roads families will get the rare opportunity to meet an African American Santa and Mrs. Claus. Santa Ken, a New York resident, is one of only a handful of naturally-bearded and professionally-trained African American Santas in the United States. He matriculated from the International University of Santa Claus.
“As I was looking to introduce my daughter to Santa, I wanted him to look like her father, uncles and grandfather. As well, it was important to me to help counterbalance the unflattering images of African American men that seem all too rampant these days, with the magical image of an African American Santa,” said Portsmouth resident and local marketing executive Deborah Mann, who came up with the idea.
“And I believe that there’s room for all of us, black, white, brown and orange, to consider, even if just for a moment, that the magic of Christmas can be personified by an African American man,” Mann said.
Tickets for the event include a hot brunch, children’s games and a keepsake photo with Santa courtesy of Steve Bird Photography. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. The two seating times for the event are 10 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
The Bide A Wee Pavilion is located at 1 Bide-A-Wee Drive.