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>>

  • Man convicted of murder in fatal sauce pan beating

    Man convicted of murder in fatal sauce pan beating

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:48:41 GMT
    A man who claimed he was high on drugs and hearing voices when he fatally beat an elderly man with a sauce pan has been found guilty of felony murder.
    A New Jersey man who said he was high on drugs and hearing voices when he fatally beat an elderly man with a sauce pan has been convicted of murder.
  • Several new animals on display at NYC zoos

    Several new animals on display at NYC zoos

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:44:02 GMT
    WCS photoWCS photo
    The Wildlife Conservation Society's zoos in New York City have debut some interesting new animals in their habitats in recent weeks. The flagship Bronx Zoo is now home to a herd of endangered Turkmenian flare-horned markhor, a species of mountain goat native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Some river otter pups are getting to know their home in Prospect Park, and the Queens Zoo has some new majestic American bison.
    The Wildlife Conservation Society's zoos in New York City have debut some interesting new animals in their habitats in recent weeks. The flagship Bronx Zoo is now home to a herd of endangered Turkmenian flare-horned markhor, a species of mountain goat native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Some river otter pups are getting to know their home in Prospect Park, and the Queens Zoo has some new majestic American bison.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:14:05 GMT
    One of the two deputy U.S. marshals shot in the West Village was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with fugitive sexual assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir, officials said. The shootout happened in a smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street. Mozdir was killed.
    One of the two deputy U.S. marshals shot in the West Village was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with fugitive sexual assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir, officials said. The shootout happened in a smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street. Mozdir was killed.
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 | Terms of Service | Ad Choices