This year, Santa goes by StevePublished 12:03am Sunday, December 23, 2012
NATCHEZ — Santa Claus is known by many names, but this year around Natchez, most people call the man in the signature red suit Stephen Newman.
Newman, the owner of Coastal Petroleum Services, was chosen as this Christmas’ local Santa by the Santa Claus Committee.
“It’s a great honor,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do it.”
Newman is donning an old Victorian-style Santa outfit his wife, Dee, and daughter Christine picked out.
But Newman doesn’t need much help getting into character to entertain as Santa Claus.
“It comes natural,” he said.
Newman has made a few appearances around the city as Santa, including the Natchez Children’s Home’s Christmas party Tuesday.
Newman said he has received a couple of interesting requests from children eager to ensure their favorite gift makes it under the tree.
“A reindeer was definitely the strangest,” he said.
Newman has been a member of the Santa Claus Committee for approximately 10 years. He is also a member of the Krewe of Phoenix.
Newman said it is a privilege to be a part of all the committee does for the community.
“It’s just about giving back to the community,” Newman said.
The Santa Claus Committee got its start in Natchez in 1928, when a group of businessmen decided they wanted to ensure that even the less-fortunate local children have a happy Christmas.
The committee exists only for charitable purposes, and members pay yearly dues to participate in the committee’s annual parade, which is on Christmas Eve.