We are lucky to have a diversity of Santas in the Oakland Area, but it can still be hard to know where to find a consistent Black Santa for photos, so we've rounded up a few you can count on.
Black Santa Claus at Children's Fairyland in Oakland
Children's Fairyland is committed to hosting a Black Santa in Oakland. We love Fairy Winterland as a holiday outing for preschoolers. Santa Claus at Fairyland has been a Black Santa every year since 1993. For you history buffs, the first one was Jerry Williams, followed by Ron Zeno in 1999. Eric Martin now holds Santa's throne. Free visits with Fairyland admission, Santa sets up shop in the Fairyland Chapel, a sweet little cottage, and leads the nightly parade.
Black Santa hours: Beginning Dec. 13 from 4 pm to 6 pm. Parade at 6:15.
For parents to know: Expect to wait for a turn. Santa gives out candy canes.
Black Santa Company pop-up at Jack London Square
Former NBA Warriors star Baron Davis wants to promote Santas who are just as diverse as America. “I never saw Black Santa growing up,” says Davis. “I would have loved to. It would have given [me] a positive image of Santa.” [source: Good Housekeeping]
Davis' The Black Santa Company is returning to the Oakland waterfront this season at a new location: 419 Water Street. Pick up adorable merch (see below) and visit Black Santa and Mrs. C. on weekend afternoons.
Black Santa hours: Weekends noon to 4 pm beginning Nov. 23.
For parents to know: The Santa and Mrs. C are larger-than-life, emoji-style characters.
Black Santa in the Laurel District
Local chiropractor Brett Jones will open the doors of his practice and his lap to welcome families to a reception with cookies, cocoa and a professional photographer snapping pictures as he plays Santa.
Black Santa hours: One day only: Dec. 15 from 2 to 4 pm
For parents to know: Please be respectful of this wonderful small business in our community.
More Black Santa Claus sightings
Often the Tilden Park Carousel hires African American men as Santa Claus, but not always. We have not received confirmation for 2019. We're also keeping our eyes open for a few neighborhood shops to announce their schedules.
Black Santa merch is so darn cute!
The cute, illustrated representation of Black Santa Claus seen below is available on t-shirts and other merchandise at the Jack London Square pop-up Fridays through Sundays and online. I particularly dig the Black Santa Company wrapping paper.
We'll update our calendar throughout the holiday season with new Black Santa sightings as we find out about them. Where to get Santa photos in the East Bay > and Special needs Santa Clauses (RSVP required).