New Orleans’ Black 7th Ward Santa Has Been Making Kids Smile For Almost 45 Years

While some are still trying to come to terms with the fact that Santa can be any color, a community in New Orleans has had a Black Santa for decades.

The 7th Ward Black Santa has been around for almost 45 years and Fred Parker, the man who wears Santa’s suit, has had a major impact on the community. Generations of community members know Parker; some even know him from his days as a school bus drive. Back then, Parker would treat children to McDonald’s on the day before Christmas break. Now, the 74-year-old dresses up every year to put a smile on children’s faces for the holidays.

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Parker’s impact has been so great that many community members call visiting him every Christmas a “rite of passage.” 

Fred is so beloved in the community that a Twitter thread was started where people could share photos of their kids with him and their stories of meeting the 7th Ward’s Black Santa. 

What Fred does every year is truly wonderful and it’s great to know that generations of residents have always had a Santa who looks like them.