Rich Foerster was voted the "Real" Santa at this year's annual Mountain Pine Woman's Club Yuletide Bazaar.
HO HO HO! Santa Claus has come to town, right here in Parker, Colorado. Santa Rich, AKA Rich Foerster, was voted the "Real" Santa at this year's annual Mountain Pine Woman's Club Yuletide Bazaar, held November 11, at the Parker Fieldhouse. Many Parker residents will recognize Santa Rich, as he has been filling in for Santa here in Parker for the past fifteen years. We had a chance to visit with Santa Rich after the event and he shared some details about his fascinating journey to Real Santa status. A semi-retired realtor, Santa Rich is originally from Corpus Christi, TX, moving to Littleton in 1991, and then to Parker in 1997. In 2008, Santa Rich and Keller Williams were the first tenants in the Victoria Peaks office building in downtown Parker and the owner asked for ideas to bring people to that part of town. The Town of Parker had horse drawn carriage rides back then, and the owner was able to arrange to have Victorian Peaks as one of the carriage stops. But how would he get them inside? "Someone suggested having Santa inside the building so that kids and the parents could visit with Santa before or after their carriage ride. There were four Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas and each Saturday we had a different Santa. When I was asked, I was a little reluctant, but I eventually said OK. The following year no one wanted to be Santa. My wife said, why don’t you do it? I agreed and I have been Santa Rich ever since!" "In my third year as Santa, I filled in for the gentleman who was Santa for the Mayor’s Tree Lighting at O’Brien Park. Someone at the Town of Parker called me and I have been honored to be Santa for the Mayor’s Tree Lighting since 2010."
Santa Rich appears at numerous events throughout the area, such as the Mayor's tree lighting, Parker's Hometown and Parker Days Parades, Coffee with a Cop, Breakfast with Santa at the West Main Taproom and many private and public functions as well. Santa Rich loves to see the child's face light up when they see him and he loves listening to their Christmas wishes. However, "the absolute best is when a child isa little bit afraid to meet Santa but by the time they leave, they believe Santa is their best friend."
"One year I visited the home of a five-year-old boy who was born deaf. That year he got Cochlearimplants. It was the first time he couldhear Santa’s voice." Santa Rich has also enjoyed visiting the Christmas party for a group of Special Olympic athletes.
Serving as the Real Santa is not all candy canes and chocolates. The requests for Santa visits start as early as November of the previous year. "My wife and I try our best to accommodate as many requests as we can, however, sometimes we have to say no and that’s very difficult for us. We don’t want to disappoint the children." Santa Rich usually makes between 25- 30 Santa visits each season. "This year I am up to 32."
Regarding this year's bazaar, Santa Rich said, "the Yuletide Bazaar is a wonderful community event. People from Parker and the surrounding communities can come shop and enjoy some holiday cheer. Shoppers are sure to find that one-of-a-kind, unique Christmas gift to complete their shopping. I am glad that I was able to participate in this year’s event. I enjoyed visiting with the vendors, shoppers, and of course, the kids! It was a special honor to be voted the REAL Santa."
For additional information regarding Santa Rich please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about the Mountain Pine Woman's Club please visit mpwcparker.org.