Santa comes to town, but cautiously

The best way to be nice this year, is to think of others, a Santa portrayer says. While many have pushed the COVID-19 pandemic to the background, it's important to remain vigilant, he told a group.


National News

November 23, 2021 - 9:08 AM

Young children around the world are captivated by the Santa Claus. Yoganov Konstantin/

NEW YORK (AP) — Santa is back this year, but he pleads caution as he continues to tiptoe through the pandemic.

“Be smart. Be caring. If you have the tiniest tickle in your throat, the tiniest feeling, worry about yourself and worry about everybody else, and know Santa will always be there next year,” said 57-year-old Kevin Chesney, who’s been donning the big red suit since he was a kid. 

Amid a downturn in Jolly Old Elves — about 15 percent fewer in one large database — Chesney is busier than ever from his North Pole in Moorestown, New Jersey. The photo studio where he works quickly sold out its 4,500 appointments to sit with him and the seven other Santas in the studio’s stable. 

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