Christmas

Chocolate Santa is back! We’ve got where you can catch him for pictures

For almost 50 years, he’s been bringing magic to the season

Generations of kids have pictures with Fred Parker, better known as Chocolate Santa or 7th Ward Santa.

According to the New Orleans Advocate, Parker has been posing with children as Santa for 48 years.

We’ve got proof. People from across the city have pictures with Chocolate Santa when they were kids, and again as adults — and with their own children.

Even before he was Santa, Parker was bringing kids Christmas cheer. In a 2009 article, he told NOLA.com when he was a bus driver he would treat his entire bus of kids to McDonald’s on the last day of school before Christmas break.

He’s making his first appearance of the season Friday at the Pythian Market, starting at 3 p.m. However, organizers say parents should plan to get there at least an hour early to make sure they can get a guaranteed picture, because the line gets long fast.

He’ll also be the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity house, located at 9701 Lake Forest Boulevard in New Orleans East later Friday evening, beginning at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make either event Friday, Parker will be at the Pythian Market again on Dec. 12. He’ll also be at the Dryades Public Market on Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., before heading to his usual spot at Dennis Photo Finish in the 7th Ward. Here’s the schedule at Dennis:

Pythian Market
$$ $$
Getting there
234 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Opening Hours
Mon-Thu 8am–9pm
Fri-Sat 8am–10pm
Sun 8am–9pm
More Info
Website
9701 Lake Forest Blvd
Getting there
9701 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127, USA
More Info
Dennis Photofinish Ltd
Getting there
1753 N Tonti St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Open Now
Mon-Fri 9am–4pm
Sat-Sun Closed
More Info
Website
Dryades Public Market
Getting there
1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
Opening Hours
Mon-Wed 7am–7pm
Thu-Fri 7am–8pm
Sat-Sun 8am–6pm
More Info
Website