SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


"Real Bearded" Santas Hold Summer Convention


July 19, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan's Father & Mother Christmas, best known to locals as Jim and Connie Wingren, recently returned home after attending the first ever "Real Bearded Santa's Convention".

Connie Wingren said, "More than 500 Santas, Mrs. Clauses and Elfs were in attendance at the convention." She said many great workshops were presented enabling Santas to "hone" their skills. "It was a very uplifting experience and it was great to see so many men and their wives who truly believe in Santa and the Sprit of a Christ filled Christmas," said Wingren.

jpg Real Bearded Santas

Jim and Connie Wingren and US Marines...
Photo courtesy Jim & Connie Wingren

The convention, hosted by Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santa's (AORBS), was held in Branson, Missouri from July 6th through the 9th. On the morning of July 7th, Wingren said there was a Santas' Parade held at "Kringle's" shopping mall which made the national news and the Wingrens were featured in a news brief on the Springfield, Montana ABC affiliate KSPR on the evening news on July 7th.

According to the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas' website, this International Organization currently lists over 950 "Real Bearded" Gentlemen in their registry who are dedicated to the Joy of being Santa.

Quoting a statement released from the North Pole, "Yes, hundreds of Gentlemen, with real flowing white beards and dressed in red, gathered for a special meeting in Branson, Missouri. They are the brothers, cousins and descendents of this Holiday figure know by many names - Saint Nicholas, Père Noël, Sinter Claus, Bobo Natale, Father Christmas, Grandfather Frost, Kris Kringle and most commonly . . . Santa Claus. Yes, there were hundreds of men dressed in Red in attendance... including THE REAL SANTA CLAUS!"


On the Web:

Real Bearded Santas' Convention


E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska