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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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The secret is out! Santa and his bearded friends live in Tampa Bay!

2020 UDPATE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this Santa group will not be doing visits this year, but there are other ways you can still visit with Santa. Learn more here!

It’s true! Santa lives in Tampa Bay! Can you really blame him? The weather is beautiful, the beaches are plentiful with sugar-like sand and the activities are non-stop!

No, we’re not kidding…the real bearded Santa and the rest of his bearded friends call Tampa Bay home and they want to help you make the holidays even more magical!

We recently caught up with the jolly old elf himself to find out the inside scoop on how YOU can invite him for a visit before his busiest night of the year–Christmas Eve!


1) How exactly do I invite Santa to come visit my kids?

YES, you can really call Santa or text Santa at 813-230-9254  or you can email Santa@SantaTB.com.

Send Santa your event details date, time and location of your party.

You can also visit realbeardedsantasflorida.com to learn more!

2) What can I expect during the visit?

  • Plan as a surprise so when Santa comes walking through the front door, ringing sleigh bells with a toy sack over his shoulder  “Ho, ho ho!”….Santa meets and greets all the children, settles in a chair by the Christmas Tree, all the while answering the children’s excited questions.
  • Santa reads/tells a Christmas Story or two about the North Pole, the reindeer and Rudolph.
  • Santa reaches in his toy sack and calls out the name on a present, each child sits on Santa’s knee sharing their dreams and wishes, while photos are being taken.
  • Each child receives their gift from Santa but are told not to open until each child has visited with Santa, had their picture taken and has their gift.
  • Once all the children have gifts, everyone opens their presents at the same time, creating a crescendo of excitement and another great photo opportunity.
  • Santa asks each child to show him the present the elves picked out creating another photo opportunity. Santa will then pose for photos with siblings, families and all the children.
  • Santa usually exits ringing sleigh bells and asking everyone to sing a chorus or two of Jingle Bells or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

3) Do I tip? Reindeer need to eat, right? ?

 We are providing a service and accept gratuities, but never solicit.

Santa in Tampa Bay

 

4) Tell us about the Real Bearded Santas. How did you all get your start?

Hair and beard turns white, someone asks us to be a Santa, most have similar stories as this. My 3 year old granddaughter’s day care Santa canceled, so my son asked if I could fill in….so I did and I was hooked, you could feel the love from across the room; that was 25 years ago!

5) What makes you all different than other jolly old elves out there?

Each Santa is carefully screened as to looks, a jolly character, authentic suit, boots, and love for children, each is real bearded, each has attended Santa Schools for professional training.

Each Santa is required to have a National Criminal/Sex Offender Background Screening each year and each carry a minimum of $2,000,000 in Personal Entertainers Liability Insurance, for our clients and our children’s protection. (No other company guarantees this.)

Santa lives in Tampa Bay

6) What do you love most about this time of year and stepping into such a ‘big role’?

The love, the joy, the pure adoration of the children, the ability to invoke a smile from most every single person of any you meet. To give children the reasons to believe, to find joy in their fantasies and to share in their dreams and wishes.

As real bearded, authentic Santas we deliver the MAGIC of Christmas, little ones know the real Santa was there, the adults will wonder was he…..

 
One of my personal quotes: “I am not sure God intended for old men to have this much FUN”
Most Santas have more hair products than their wives, most wear makeup, and likely spend more time in front of a mirror than their wives.
We create quite a spectacle when several hundred of us gather at a Celebration (convention).
All you see in Red and White. Or even when 30-50 arrive at a restaurant for dinner dressed in “Casual Claus” we create quite a commotion.
Most of us keep our long white beards all year long, and usually wear red or green shirts, since the keen eyes of the little believers spot that white beard, giving us that questioning look, we usually put our finger our lips to imitate keeping a secret, or give a soft ho ho ho.
Our National organization has over 1,700 members, I have been the President of IBRBS (International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas) for over 4 years.

Letters from Santa

Related: Don’t miss out of the USPS “Letters from Santa” program!


Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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