Thursday, November 3, 2011

Detroit's Super Santa - Joseph "Bernie" Marquis

As time goes by and we get older, you realize how important some people are in your life. Over 20 some years ago, I was introduced to a great Santa from Detroit named Joseph “Bernie” Marquis. Bernie at the time, in the 1970s and 1980s, was one of the nation’s premier Santas. For many years he was the official Santa Claus for the Hudson’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade) on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. The Detroit News called Bernie “Super Santa” which he was.

I always admired Bernie’s rendition of Santa and met him for lunch in the mid-1980s when I was in my early twenties. He was very polite, honest, and gave me some advice that would eventually help shape my career as Santa. At the time he may have had no idea how he influenced me.

Over two decades later, Bernie and I talked on the phone today. We caught up on each other. He is now a priest with the Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church in Detroit and I am still Santa from Santa’s Village.

Next week, Father Marquis is coming to Illinois to see me. We are going to have lunch again. Thanks Bernie or I should say Father Marquis, for taking time to have lunch with me…both times. You have been an inspiration to me and I thank you.
Visit Santa from Santa's Village Click Here .