Texarkana Santa, also known as Santa Mark, has spent the last twenty-two years spreading holiday cheer around the greater Texarkana area. Mark Reed commenced his magical journey long ago, when he volunteered to be Santa for one of his children’s classes. Since then, his love for Christmas and for the community of Texarkana has only grown.
“They had an old flannel Santa suit with the cotton ball beard and they asked me to wear it,” said Santa Mark. “I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I loved seeing the happiness and wonder on the children’s faces.”
This is his favorite part of the gig, no, not eating all the cookies, but helping people believe in the joy and magic of Christmas. He believes that this is truly the season to be selfless and give to one another.
“Being able to encourage people to join in the Christmas spirit by my actions or my appearance is a blessing.”
There are many special, magical things about being Santa. Santa Mark recalls some of his most memorable visits throughout the years. He always makes sure to visit Arkansas Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day and also regularly participates in the Junior League’s Holiday From the Heart event. One year he even delivered a puppy to three girls on Christmas Eve.
As you can see, it’s not easy being the official Santa of Texarkana, but Santa Mark has always wanted this opportunity.
“My mom told me that when I was in second grade, the teacher asked us to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. All the other children drew pictures of astronauts, doctors/nurses, athletes, but I drew a picture of Santa because he made everyone happy. So, I guess that I always wanted to become Santa,” he recalled.
Santa Mark is currently looking forward to this year’s Main Street Texarkana Christmas Parade on December 4, 2017. This is an event he shares each year with his wife, children, and all the elves!
He plans to show off his newly remodeled hundred-year-old sleigh. Painted in a deep gold and green, the sleigh is a show stopper!
“I had been looking for a sleigh for a couple of years to use for the Christmas parade and other special appearances. Last year, I found a gentlemen in Michigan that also dons the red suit that found sleighs and refurbished them.”
Santa Mark traveled all the way to Michigan in October to retrieve the sleigh. Since then, he’s had it repainted by Eddie Estell in Hooks. Danny Flanagan, and Fitwell Upholstery, did some touch up work on the upholstery and Jennifer Ogburn with Twisted Vines did the decorations for the sleigh. The sleigh is in tip-top shape.
He even managed to track down a company called Imaginary Kidz that made him an eighty inch tall reindeer. Santa Mark knew this was the perfect addition to his “new” sleigh.
You can spot them both around town through Christmas Day.
2019A Richmond Road
Texarkana, TX 75503