Bronco's Santa act is down pat
WHILE Christmas is almost done and dusted for another year, children and their families will always have fond memories visiting with Santa at Pialba Place Shopping Centre.
With a tremendous amount of positive posts on social media and his Santa Fraser Coast Facebook page, it's abundantly clear that the man under the beard, Hervey Bay's Bronco Jensen, is one of the region's most-loved Santas.
Known for his vibrant stage presence with Tun A Fun Karaoke, Mr Jensen has played the part of Santa at Pialba Place for the past seven years.
Mr Jensen believes his strong following is due to the fact that anyone of any age can have their photo taken for free on a camera or device, and he promotes a "casual, no-rush atmosphere".
"We even have a table set up for the children to do colouring-in," he said.
"This is especially helpful for children who are initially terrified of Santa.
"By having them colour-in, I am able to gradually make my way closer to them by admiring their artwork.
"More often than not the children will approach me to show me their finished art and will then be more than willing to sit up with me to have their photos taken with Santa."
Mr Jensen has worked with children all his life and understands how a soothing quietly spoken voice is calming to nervous children.
"I have a plethora of jokes to share with parents as well as children, guaranteed to make them smile.
"We give every child a small gift after they have their photos taken with Santa.
"This is generally an activity book with puzzles, colouring-in and join the dots.
"They also receive a sticker sheet and are also given an elve's hat to wear."
Mr Jensen has worked hard in developing his Santa persona but, he says, it's well worth all the effort.
"So much so that I am the 'Santa of choice' for the Hervey Bay Carols in the Park each year," he said.
"Also I am the go-to Santa for SEAFM Mackay and the Whitsundays.
"They record an interview with me and play it on air for all the children to hear."
Be sure to check out Mr Jensen's Facebook page, where children can have a chat with Santa and leave a list of what they would like for Christmas.
"Mums and dads have also used this as a tool for when their children are being naughty.
"They can send me a message and I can reply so that the children can read my comments with their parents so the interaction with Santa doesn't stop when the photo is taken."
Mr Jensen assures the Fraser Coast community he will be back at Pialba Place next year, with management booking him 12 months in advance to ensure no one poaches "their Santa".