DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The demand for Santa entertainers is up across the nation, especially here in Ohio, according to HireSanta, one of the largest Santa hiring companies.

“I was looking at the demand we have, specifically in Ohio, and the demand is great! It is really increasing around the country but in Ohio it’s up about 30% year-over-year from last year,” said Mitch Allen, the founder and Head Elf at HireSanta.

The company says right now for every Santa it hires there are 20 people looking to book a Santa. Demand is so great that hourly weekend events in December are already sold out in most markets. 

“This year in 2022 we are seeing people who are already wanting to book 2023 events because we are basically sold out this year for the prime weekend spots so people are reaching out and saying ‘Hey, I know I can’t get a HireSanta entertainer this year, but let’s book one fore 2023,” said Allen.

While demand is up, there is a shortage of Santas to hire. HireSanta says it has lost many Santas in its database due to many reasons.

“Some of the Santas retired and because of COVID, they just did not put themselves at a risk,” said John Hutton, a Santa with HireSanta from Carlisle, Ohio that has been in the business for 7 years. “And of course, we have Santas retiring all the time due to age and health concerns, you know, they we still want to be up be able to present a good Santa for the children.”

Despite the demand being up, Santas just want to spread the Christmas spirit.

“At the end of the day, you’re a little tired,” said Santa. “But you regroup and go back at it the next day because you want the children in the morning, the children the evening to see the same Santa that was there in the morning with the same excitement and the same experience.”

In order to be Santa, the company does prefer someone with a real beard and belly but a must is that holly jolly spirit.

“We’re also seeing a more diverse Santas,” said Allen “Whether that be a black Santa, a Spanish speaking Santa, a Mrs. Claus those types of things. We are seeing more and more demand for what we call a diverse Santa entertainers.”

To hire a Santa or join the Santa community you can head to