Chocolate Santa is back! We’ve got where you can catch him for pictures

Generations of kids have pictures with Fred Parker, better known as Chocolate Santa or 7th Ward Santa.

by Mary Staes
December 6, 2018

Generations of kids have pictures with Fred Parker, better known as Chocolate Santa or 7th Ward Santa.

According to the New Orleans Advocate, Parker has been posing with children as Santa for 48 years.

We’ve got proof. People from across the city have pictures with Chocolate Santa when they were kids, and again as adults — and with their own children.

Even before he was Santa, Parker was bringing kids Christmas cheer. In a 2009 article, he told NOLA.com when he was a bus driver he would treat his entire bus of kids to McDonald’s on the last day of school before Christmas break.

He’s making his first appearance of the season Friday at the Pythian Market, starting at 3 p.m. However, organizers say parents should plan to get there at least an hour early to make sure they can get a guaranteed picture, because the line gets long fast.

He’ll also be the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity house, located at 9701 Lake Forest Boulevard in New Orleans East later Friday evening, beginning at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make either event Friday, Parker will be at the Pythian Market again on Dec. 12. He’ll also be at the Dryades Public Market on Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., before heading to his usual spot at Dennis Photo Finish in the 7th Ward. Here’s the schedule at Dennis:

Pythian Market
$$$$
Getting there
234 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Hours
Mon-Wed 8am–8pm
Thu-Sat 8am–9pm
Sun 8am–3pm
More Info
9701 Lake Forest Blvd
Getting there
9701 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127, USA
Dennis Photofinish Ltd
Getting there
1753 N Tonti St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Hours
Mon-Fri 9am–4pm
Sat-Sun Closed
More Info
Dryades Public Market
Getting there
1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...