Michigan’s capital is once again getting ready to host The Black Santa Experience, a Christmas event that is designed to support Black-owned businesses. This year’s Black Santa Experience, which will take place on Nov. 25 at The Venue by Eleven 11 Events, will once again feature a vendor marketplace.
According to Black Enterprise, attendees will be able to buy gifts from over 25 Black-owned businesses.
“Representation matters and The Black Santa Experience is all about creating a magical holiday atmosphere where we celebrate our culture,” Karla Wagner, co-founder of the event, said in a press release per Black Enterprise.
The vendors will include a unique bookstore known as Socialight Society Bookstore. The Black-woman-owned independent bookshop sells “children’s titles predominantly authored by Black women,” the business’ website states. The bookstore will also read books to children during the Black Santa Experience.
Additionally, a silent auction will be held during the event to raise funds for gifts that will be purchased and delivered to children by Black Santa. Other fun activities will include face painting, arts and crafts.
Black Santa will of course make an appearance as well to take photos with the children. This year’s Black Santa is George Smithers, who graduated from the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan. Adults who attend the event will have a chance to relax at The Comfort Zone Cigar Bar and Bistro.
“This year’s Black Santa Experience promises to be the highlight of your holiday season,” the organizers stated on the event’s site. “We’re bringing you more magic, more fun, and more heartwarming moments . . . The first 150 attendees will receive a free swag bag. So throw on your ugly Christmas sweater and join us!”