A local couple was told to pay for spreading cheer

Local News

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — It’s the season for cheer and giving, which is what one couple tried to do over the weekend in Johnstown.

Colleen Knudsen reports that the couple went to the Christmas Market to give out canes, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, but that soon turned into a problem when they were told that they needed an entertainer’s permit, which costs $300.

The Kringle’s say they’ve come to the Christmas Market as the jolly couple for nearly four decades, and say this is the first time they were told they needed a permit.

It’s a long-time tradition for Patrick and Priscilla Kringle to dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus in Johnstown, in fact, it runs in the family.

“My grandfather was Santa Claus up in Vermont. I have an uncle over in Ireland, he’s Santa Claus. I have one in Scotland. My uncle up in New York, he’s Santa Claus I’m Santa Claus it’s in our blood,” said Patrick Kringle: Santa Claus impersonator.

The couple says they were shocked when vendors approached them on Sunday, saying they needed to pay a $300 entertainer’s fee to be there something the kringles cannot afford.

“They told us that we have to go get out of there or get a citation,” said Kringle.

The Kringles left and posted their story on Facebook.

Jon Dubinsky, Director of Community and Economic Development for the city, says no one from the city approached them at the market adding
there’s nothing needed from a permit standpoint to dress as Santa Claus.

The couple says folks outside of the city have asked them to come to their special events.

Patrick says, in the end, it’s about bringing that Christmas magic.

“Ho ho ho Merry Christmas everybody, to all the boys and girls,” said Kringle.

“The look on their face, a lot of kids don’t believe in Santa, but when you show up give them a little idea,” said Kringle.

The city says none of the staff involved with the Christmas Market approached the kringles, and the folks that did were not authorized by City Hall.

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