Townsville suffers dire Santa shortage
TOWNSVILLE is in dire need of more men willing to don the red suit and bushy white beard in the lead-up to Christmas.
Book A Santa director Michelle Drinnan said Townsville and the Whitsundays were suffering a shortage of Santas this year after previous ones had moved away from the region, fallen sick or even died.
"One has passed, so that does leave us with a shortage," Ms Drinnan said. "We need Santas in two weeks time.
"We're still on the hunt, we need more Santas.
"It's for a national retail campaign and there's certainly other Santas needed for other events in Townsville."
Ms Drinnan said a possible reason behind the shortage was the thought of wearing a hot velvet-like suit in our smouldering heat.
But she said the company had taken steps to make Santas feel comfortable in North Queensland at the start of summer.
"The costumes are very thin, made to be cool," she said. "And most of the events are inside in airconditioning, so it's not much different from working any other job."
Ms Drinnan said Book A Santa needed to expand its search and had employed one Santa from Innisfail, but that could spread Santas thin further north.
She said Santas played a crucial role in spreading the festive cheer at this time of year and could help create memories for children that would last a lifetime.
"(Families) are likely to keep those Christmas photos and share them with friends and family," Ms Drinnan said.
Veteran Santa, Trevor Liebig from Idalia, said he had been performing the role for about six years. He said he went the full hog for the occasion, ditching the summer Santa suit to create the most authentic experience possible.
"I love it. For the kids it's really excellent," Mr Liebig said.
Ms Drinnan said Book A Santa was after two men who would be available to work on Saturday and Sunday next week.
She said applicants needed to be reliable, have a Blue Card or be willing to get a working with children check and enjoy working with children.
Ms Drinnan said pay was dependent on experience but started at $35 an hour.
To apply phone (03) 9013 0840 or visit bookasanta.com.au.