Alicia and Daren Woodard, founders of Woodard Dynasty Entertainment in Erie, Pennsylvania, are demonstrating their intent on bringing joy, togetherness, and inclusivity during Christmas as Mrs. and Mr. Black Santa.
The couple offers a unique experience that goes beyond the typical Santa visit, aiming to represent and celebrate their culture. “We want our Black Santa to represent our culture by giving the Ma and Pa feel and the auntie and uncle vibes,” Alicia said, according to Black Enterprise.
Growing up in Erie, they did not recall seeing a black Santa, so they decided to change that by attending various festivals and private parties. Dorned in the red suit with the signature familiar looks and unique personalities that the Santas are known for, the Woodwards interact with children and adults, offering hugs, craft activities, treats, balloons, and unlimited pictures.
Though the couple takes pride in pushing beyond the traditional white Santa role and providing more than just a lap to sit on, they are conscious of promoting inclusivity.
“Spreading inclusivity and having a similar and familiar face bring cheer is very important to us. We want our services to symbolize family and hope,” Alicia expressed.
The mother of four and stepmother of one, in the role of Mrs. Santa, monitors the naughty list and the children’s queue, assists with tying shoelaces, and ensures healthy and positive mannerisms. Daren as Mr. Black Santa, on the other hand, plays around and engages in the organization’s various packages.
Woodard Dynasty Entertainment offers different packages, ranging from $100 to $250 per hour. These packages include fun experiences like “Create and Paint,” where people can enjoy painting without alcohol. They also have a “Hot Chocolate with Santa” experience, featuring holiday crafts, games, prizes, and peppermint-scented face painting.
For a more personalized touch, there is the “Santa Secret Stop” package, where Mrs. and Mr. Black Santa make a home visit for about 15 minutes. They bring gifts, pose for photos, and collect letters from Santa. Additionally, the Clauses participate in private events organized by various organizations, distributing gifts provided by the hosts.
Though there is a fee for these experiences, the Woodards are committed to giving back to the community in unprecedented ways.
The couple not only hope to bring holiday cheer but also create unforgettable moments and lasting memories as The Brown Clowns.