Lyle Kroon, or better known as Sioux Falls Santa, says that his business all began through incidental events.
“I was asked to deliver presents for a friend’s children because they knew I served on the steering committee for the Festival of Trees,” said Kroon. “On occasion, the scheduled Santa would not show up and I would put on the red suit and sit in the sleigh.”
For Lyle, seeing the look on children’s faces and being able to spread an immense amount of joy to others became addicting.
Early on, news of Kroon’s visits spread quickly and as more and more opportunities arose, he decided that if he was going to do this, he was going to learn to do it correctly.
Kroon enrolled in the International University of Santa Claus and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in SantaClausology. Here, he had the opportunity to trace the history and traditions that were given to the Santa children know and love today.
“This brings an entirely different approach to the work as Santa and that it is more than just putting on a big Red Suit and walking around saying, ‘Ho, ho, ho,’” said Kroon.
From its inception, Sioux Falls Santa has been titled a unique business in that Kroon represents a character that is loved and cherished by many people.
“It is all about living and portraying the life of a man who lived almost 1,700 years ago.” said Kroon. “It portrays the charity of the man, St. Nicholas of Myra, who we better know as Santa Claus, the giver of joy and gifts at Christmas.”
For the last 10 years, Sioux Falls Santa has been able to bring joy and wonder to a variety of parades, business parties, home, and hospice visits.
Kroon shares what he enjoys outside of playing Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick.
I work as the director of traditional worship and music at First Reformed Church. It is fun to get people involved in the choirs and lead others in worship through music. Music is such a soothing relief when life moves too fast.
Caring for Community
You will find me volunteering out at the Avera Behavioral Health Hospital, where I sit at the desk, interacting with clients three afternoons a week. It gives me a sense of fulfillment when someone stops and says, “Do you know you look like Santa?”
Knitting and New Perspectives
What would be a Tuesday night without going to Barnes & Noble and sitting with a very eclectic group that loves to knit? We sit, knit, and chat about our latest adventures, books, movies, and travels. The topics are so very enlightening and gives me a new perspective to the world we live in.
Traveling and sampling different international cuisines are a very enriching experience for me. Shahi Palace in Sioux Falls is one of my favorite dining places. I am especially delighted with their Naan, Tikka Masala, and the Rice Pudding with Almonds.
When I go looking for yarn to complete a new project or fulfill a request for a friend for a knitted gift for someone, Jo-Ann’s Fabric is a place for me to go looking for the materials I will need. Being able to sort through the variety of colors, textures, and weight on the yarns available is just what I need to complete a project the way I picture it in my mind.
5 Random Facts
- I love to travel and have been fortunate to travel to 35 states and 14 different countries on five different continents.
- I have taken my church choir on two tours to Branson, MO performing at four different theaters.
- I have two loving step-children and four grandchildren who are very supportive of my portrayal of Santa Claus.
- My three siblings have made a contribution to my business.
- I have been employed with Avera Behavioral Hospital for 45 years and First Reformed Church for 46 years.
Dinner and a Show
Joining friends for an enjoyable experience sitting around the hibachi grill at Fuji Sushi and Hibachi Grill has always been high on my priority list. Watching the chef entertain as well as prepare your meal right in front of you is very enjoyable.
Kid in a Candy Shop
Hobby Lobby Craft Store is worse than going into a candy store. The choices available for crafting are so varied and enticing.
Jolly Round Figure
It would not be unusual to find me dining at Pizza Ranch. I like to request my favorite pizza, which I call Santa’s Special Pizza. It has ground beef with lots of green olives, with red pimento and lots of cheese. The olives remind me of Christmas and the flavors go well together.
Keep Up With Santa