A Farewell Letter from the Former Southdale Santa

Ken Cloud moves on, with a new mission of spreading cheer
Santa Ken Cloud
Santa Ken Cloud

Photo by Jon Rose

Dear Minnesota families,

I came to Minnesota, by my request, in 2013 as Southdale Center’s Santa. For these past six years it has been my singular honor to serve in that capacity. Sadly, I have been asked to serve another community this Christmas season.

I shall miss “my families,” and it warms my heart to think of all the homes my photo is in with your children. Most especially, I will miss the Caring Santa morning for special needs and autistic children.

I will be the Santa come November 1 through Christmas at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, in a community still reeling from the tragic shooting in August. I am conversant in Spanish, having learned in Mexico in the ’70s. El Paso is 85% Hispanic, and Spanish is spoken in the homes of most families there. The mall enjoys solid business from residents of Chihuahua, Mexico, and specifically Ciudad Juarez, El Paso’s sister city.

Minnesota, and in particular Southdale Center, holds a special place in my heart now and for the rest of my life. It was the first enclosed mall, and the first mall I ever visited as a young boy. It has been my “home” for the past six years, and I hold many fond memories of Minnesota in my heart.

May the coming Christmas season provide fond memories for you and magical experiences for your little ones. I wish you all good cheer!


Santa Ken Cloud (featured in “Dear Santa” from the December 2016 Minnesota Monthly)

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