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Black Santa comes to Twin Falls

Black Santa is in place so that people can have representation for the good that Santa represents in the world
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:38 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Black Santa came to town in Twin Falls on Friday, complete with the traditional red suit and white beard associated with St. Nick.

“I think to make it succinct, Black Santa is in place so that people can have representation for the good that Santa represents in the world,” said Black Santa PDX Leroy Barber. “Joy, peace and love, and all those kinds of things.”

Leroy Barber assumes the role of Santa each year and makes stops in several states with Black Santa PDX. WIth COVID-19 protocols in place, he sat inside a giant snow globe during Friday’s event.

He said he is glad to have made a stop in Twin Falls this year.

“I think Black Santa also represents in a place like Twin Falls, communities that may seem invisible, right? Like you’re going to say ‘Twin Falls is all white, right?’ That’s not true,” Barber said.

Buddy Gharring, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Twin Falls, helped facilitate Black Santa’s visit and he said he didn’t see any negative reaction to the event.

“I think our community is a lot more inclusive and beautiful than we give it credit to be sometimes,” Gharring said.

Some children also found that Christmas came early, as toys from Santa were given out to those who visited and took a photo.

11-year-old Maverick was among those children and when asked how it felt to receive an early present from Santa, he replied “it felt really good.”

The event, presented by the Yellow Brick Cafe and Twin Falls First United Methodist Church, was organized in order to provide a more diverse representation of Santa Claus in the Twin Falls community.

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