BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Retailers are setting up for the holidays. And back this year at Mall of America, Santa Larry.
You might remember he stirred a little controversy as the mall's first black Santa in 2016. Despite a slew of hateful comments over his time at the mall last year, Santa Larry says he chose to remember Minnesota Nice.
Last year, some people threatened to boycott the mall after the arrival of Santa Larry. Meanwhile, owners of The Santa Experience at the mall said they knew right away they wanted Santa Larry back.
Santa Experience co-owner Landon Luther said last year, for every little bit of hate he received that much more love.
“Being the first African-American to perform at The Santa Experience at the Mall of America was obviously a big part of it. But he is a talented guy and that is one of the big reasons we brought him on,” Luther said.
Luther said Santa Larry listened to the wishes of about 1,000 children over a four-day period last year. Starting November 30, Santa Larry will be at the mall for eight days. And the children love him so much, most of his available openings are all booked.