COVID-19 causing Santa shortage across the U.S.

Bay Area

(Jens Buettner/dpa via AP, File)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — From computer chips to rental cars to lumber — shortages have been widespread ahead of the holiday season this year but the latest to the list will hit close to home for many. 

HireSanta.com, a company that books Santa’s for events throughout the country tells KRON4 News, is seeing a huge increase in demand for Santa Claus entertainers. 

“In fact we are seeing a 100% increase in the number of people wanting a Santa Claus entertainer to come to their home office or retail establishment,” said Mitch Allen, spokesperson for HireSanta.com.

“Yet we have about 10% fewer Santa’s this year due to COVID.”

With the pandemic still lingering, Santa’s are hesitant about having children who are unvaccinated sit on their laps. 

But despite this, Allen tells KRON4 News HireSanta.com has already sold out for the first two weekends in December. 

“If somebody wants to hire Santa they need to reach out to hiresanta.com as soon as possible and be flexible on the date and time of their event,” said Allen. 

In San Jose, the longtime tradition of families spending the holidays at Christmas in the Park, were also facing a shortage. 

For weeks, the event had a shortage of volunteers for the Santa program — with some concerned over most kids not being vaccinated by the time of the event. 

“Our Santa program is completely volunteer based and with most kids not being vaccinated by our event, it was a concern for some regular volunteers,” said Christmas in the Park Executive Director Jason Minsky. 

Minsky tells KRON4 News they have now been able to find more volunteers for the program.

Christmas in the Park returns to downtown

This year the 40-year-old tradition will produce its traditional walk-thru in downtown San Jose and the new drive-thru event will take place at Lake Cunningham Park. 

The drive-thru event will be a new experience compared to last year with 12 different themed areas and a “mile-of-smiles” as you listen to a new soundtrack that is synchronized to over 120,000 lights in the shape of candy canes. 

Downtown will feature a new 65-foot tall tree with a walk-thru tunnel that plays a 10-minute light show every hour — and much more. 

“Plus an all new beer and wine garden we call Blinky’s Tavern (and it’s an inflatable log cabin structure), new lighted features in the form of giant teddy bears, shooting stars and a walk-through ornament,” said Minsky. 

To get your tickets for this year’s Christmas in the Park this year, click here.

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January 01 2022 12:00 am