What's a winter without Santa Claus?

Worse yet, what's a Detroit Lakes winter without Polar Pete?

These two snow-tastic icons have a lot in common: Similar body shapes, a fondness for high fives and warm greetings, and an aversion to balmy climes.

They have one other thing in common this year: Both are needed this year ... and some kind soul(s) reading this might be able to help.

Old St. Nick spreads his holiday cheer through Santa's "helpers." And a helper is needed at Washington Square Mall to facilitate all that wish-hearing and present-giving.

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And the Polar Fest wants mascot Polar Pete to have an even bigger presence this year -- which is saying something, because Pete is a big, fuzzy polar bear. No cold fish this year, either: the new Polar Pete will be paid in cold, hard cash.

To help the cause, we have drawn up a couple of "wanted ads" for these two cold-weather cohorts. Because "A Year Without a Santa Claus" is a fine show to watch with the kids, but is no fun in real life.

WANTED: Santa Claus

  • Build: Let's say "on brand." Rosy cheeks, dimples, white beard and little round belly that shakes like a bowl fully of jelly when laughing are preferred, but not required.
  • Qualifications: Good listening, good sense of humor, sturdy lap.
  • Are you red-suit ready? Call Dawn Olson, general manager at Washington Square Mall, at 218-847-1679.\

WANTED: Polar Pete

  • Height: 5-feet-8 to 5-feet-10 inches tall, medium build.
  • Accomplices: Polar Pete is best with a friend to lead him around. This could be a good gig for two.
  • Age: 18 years or older.
  • Activities: Pete doesn't speak ... smiles and gestures are all that are needed.
  • Are you the right fit? Email PolarPeteDL@gmail.com or call 218-234-2501.