In L.A. Santa Claus Comes in Many Colors - New York News

In L.A. Santa Claus Comes in Many Colors

Posted: Updated:

Recently, a Fox News Channel anchor started a firestorm of controversy by declaring emphatically that Santa Claus is white--period. And while it's true that Santa is a European historical figure, many believe that Old St. Nick is much bigger concept than his historical origins. A concept that knows no ethnic or color boundaries.

But that's not news to the folks at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall in South Los Angeles. The mall is been one of the few in the country and perhaps the only one in Southern California to feature African American and Latino santas. Langston Patterson and Mario Vasquez have been greeting thousands of parents and their children at the mall for more than a decade.

How rare are Patterson and Vasquez? Consider this: one school that specializes in training Santa Claus students recently graduated a class of 2,200. Of those, only three were black. And that is why Baldwin Hills Crenshaw is so far ahead of the curve. Mall management says it was just the right thing to do in a community that is predominantly black and Latino. But it also makes great business sense. The multicultural Santa program has been a huge success. People come from as far away as the Antelope Valley, Inland Empire, even San Diego just to see Patterson and Vasquez. But snapping pictures with the two and telling them what they want for Christmas are not the only things these customers do. They also shop and spend lots of money there.

All that being said, Patterson says, the bottom line is, no matter what color Santa comes in, he always has the same message for the kids he sees. Be on your best behavior all year long if you want a visit from Santa come Christmas. But Patterson believes that message is often much more effective when the Santa delivering it looks like the kids he's talking to and, in the case of Vasquez, speaks Spanish, a language with which many of the children and their parents are familiar.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:16:46 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
  • Revel closing, but property fight goes on

    Revel closing, but property fight goes on

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:34:07 GMT
    A casino piano tuner in Atlantic City is fighting the state's attempt to seize his late parents' house as part of a redevelopment project connected to the closing Revel Hotel Casino. Charlie Birnbaum says the house in the shadow of the failed casino was his father's livelihood. He says he is attached to the home, even though his mother was killed there in 1998.
    A casino piano tuner in Atlantic City is fighting the state's attempt to seize his late parents' house as part of a redevelopment project connected to the closing Revel Hotel Casino. Charlie Birnbaum says the house in the shadow of the failed casino was his father's livelihood. He says he is attached to the home, even though his mother was killed there in 1998.
  • 'Resting comfortably'

    Joan Rivers rushed to NYC hospital

    Joan Rivers rushed to NYC hospital

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:22:56 GMT
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  The TV host and comedian was apparently undergoing the procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  The TV host and comedian was apparently undergoing the procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices