Port Arthur children invited to eat breakfast with Santa Claus Saturday morning

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Shayla Fleming has always been a big fan of Christmas, and she knows getting some one-on-one time with Santa Claus is especially important for children.

The Port Arthur native has been working for the city for over a year, the last five months in the Parks and Recreation Department. She is using her position to better connect local children to the holiday season.

That’s why she suggested and is now leading the city’s inaugural “Breakfast With Santa” at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Amos J. Evans Multipurpose Center, 1308-B 9th Ave. in Port Arthur.

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“Kids love Santa, and Santa is not always in the mall,” Fleming said. “This is just an activity so kids can have a one-on-one chance to meet Santa and talk to him.”

The free event is open to children between prekindergarten and third grade.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling 409-983-8154. Those who call are also asked to stop by the parks and recreation office to receive a Golden Ticket for entry into the Santa breakfast.

“As of (Monday afternoon), I had 50 children that had already come and picked up their golden tickets,” Fleming said. “The golden ticket is just a little catch so they can say, ‘look, I got my golden ticket to see Santa.’”

Fleming said RSVPs are required, with all those interested needing to register by Thursday afternoon in order to secure an accurate count for food orders.

The menu includes pancakes, sausage and hot chocolate.

Santa Claus will also be available to take pictures; however, there will not be a photographer present, meaning attendees will take their own pictures.

Port Arthur City Manager Ron Burton said Saturday’s community event is a great opportunity to reach the community’s youngest residents.

“Children enjoy this season more than anybody else,” he said. “We need to make a special effort to reach out to them. It’s an opportunity to share pancakes and sausages and let them know they are appreciated at this time.”

According to Burton, he is especially proud of Fleming and the Parks and Recreation Department, which he said always has “their thinking cap on.”

“They are always looking for ways to engage the community, especially our youth and our children,” Burton said.