BALTIMORE -- Santa Claus uses his powers on Christmas Day to deliver gifts across the world.
But while he's preparing for the big day, he needs some reliable stand-ins.
With Christmas right around the corner, communities and businesses are hoping Santa is there to greet the children.
However, this season, Santas are struggling to keep up with the demand.
Mitch Allen, founder and 'Head Elf' at Hire Santa told WJZ there's a shortage of Santas this Christmas season because of unprecedented demand for Santa Claus entertainers.
"Particularly on those weekend dates," Allen said. "People want to have Santa come in on a weekend and we just don't have the Santas."
Allen said there have been a record numbers of requests for Santas at businesses, community events and private parties.
"This year people are wanting to sit on Santa's knee like in previous years," Allen said. "So, we're really seeing that that is helping to spur demand."
That means local Santa Claus entertainers, including Brian Marchetti, are busy as can be spreading holiday cheer.
"I guess on an average weekend day, I probably do six to eight, and on weekdays, it's going to be two to three events, and that's seven days a week," Marchetti said. "I started November 5 and I run straight through until Christmas Day."
Marchetti said the pandemic gave people a renewed appreciation for Santas, who can create magical experience children will remember for years.
Allen's requirements for a Santa: a real beard, a real belly and real jolly.
According to "Hire Santa," there are more than 2,000 jobs for full-season Santas, elves and other holiday entertainers open across the industry.
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