Behind his white beard - Metro US

Behind his white beard

“They say I’m the best-kept secret here.”

Stephen Colborne greeted a group of children and their parents in Santa’s Village at Capilano Mall yesterday — something he has enjoyed doing for more than 25 years.

“I’d like to say I do this for the kids but I do it for me,” said the 59-year-old former police officer currently working in the security field.

Colborne has established Capilano Mall as his homebase but has worked in other malls. He also does private parties through his agent, Crystal Hanson, who operates Alberta Creative Event and Entertainment Services, placing Santas in both Capilano and Londonderry malls as well as shopping centres in Spruce Grove.

Colborne has done his best at the part since day one, which was in Capilano Mall filling in for a no-show Santa. The timing was perfect, as he was suffering from depression at the time.

Hanson, who has been employing mall Santas for seven years, said that most are quite experienced when she hires them but that “Santa Stephen” takes the cake.

“He’s Santastic,” she said. “He’s the real deal.”

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