A local St. Nick offers a glimpse of his Christmastime gig.
Patrick Kane’s path to becoming Santa began with a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Four years ago, he took his young granddaughter to deMonye’s Haunted Greenhouse near the airport, and she climbed onto his lap for a picture. He’d been a little lazy about trimming his white goatee and mustache, so when he posted the moment on Facebook, Becky Stinchcomb, Gahanna’s mayor at the time, came across it and saw St. Nick.
He describes the application process for being Gahanna’s parade Santa: “She put me in touch with the Gahanna visitor’s bureau, and I walked in the door and they said, ‘Oh my God yes, are you interested?’”
For three years, Kane, 66, flipped the switch on Gahanna’s Christmas tree and rode in the parade. While his sleigh doesn’t stop there anymore, he still enjoys the holiday hobby, making appearances at local restaurants, churches and bookstores.
Kane, who works full time as an operations manager for a trucking company, is in the Santa game for the Christmas spirit, not the income. He gets paid for some appearances, he says, but he also donates his time for the occasional fundraiser or benevolent cause.
As a Kris Kringle purist, he adheres to Santa standards for his side hustle. He says he turned down a regular mall-Santa gig when he saw that they wanted him to wear “a long, white, robe-looking thing, instead of the red suit. Like an 1870s Santa or something. I just said, ‘No, I can’t do that.’”
He’s proud of the fact he doesn’t have a “rocker-type” beard and gets his trimmed every few weeks. He recently ditched his Yankees vanity license plate for one that reads “1SANTA1.” And he’s very excited to bust out his new Santa suit. Red, of course.
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