Kent and Debbie Adams have been playing Santa and Mrs. Claus for the community for several years, topped off by the annual Winter Wonderland in downtown Louisiana the day after Thanksgiving.
When it looked like the event wouldn’t happen last year because of dwindling Girl Scout participation, the Adamses decided to act.
They gave the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce $600 “and I said here, go have the parade,” Kent Adams said last week.
“I also suggested to the Chamber that they give out prize money for the floats,” he said.
The chamber did just that in 2013 and the event was saved. It’s the main reason why the Adamses were recently named the chamber’s members of the year.
The Santa and Mrs. Santa act began about six years ago when Kent was asked to play him on Saturday mornings in downtown Louisiana.
After seeing her husband in his original old, beat-up Santa outfit, Debbie bought another one for Kent.
She let her hair go white without coloring it and then made her own Mrs. Santa dress.
“Sewing is my craft,” Debbie said. She worked at a fabric shop in Warrenton growing up and was taught to sew there.
“I like to dress up and visit with people,” Debbie said.
They did plenty of that last year when 200 kids came to see Santa downtown.
“A lot of people don’t even know it’s us,” Debbie said.
“I know most of the kids through their parents, or I coached them in baseball or worked with their grandfather,” Kent said. “A lot of these kids can’t afford to go to MidRivers Mall to see Santa. This is their only shot.”
The Adamses also visit schools, nursing homes and Head Start every holiday season.
“The reason I do Christmas is because I can hide behind the beard,” Kent said laughing.
The Adamses recently donated to the YMCA Aquatic Center and gave some tanning beds to the YMCA after they closed their tanning business down.
Including their cabins and rental units right off Georgia Street, the Adamses have several businesses going.
When things get left in rental units, the contents are donated to causes like Goodwill or the Hope Center.