Gary Haupt lost his upcoming job as a shopping mall Santa in Penticton after posting risky photos online. (Facebook)

Penticton residents, businesses embrace ‘naughty’ Santa

Gary Haupt lost his contract with Cherry Lane, but you can still find him at other holiday events

Those worried that they missed their chance to meet Penticton’s “naughty” Santa, Gary Haupt, can breathe easy.

His elf helper and partner, Sharon Nichols, has announced multiple events where you can catch the city’s infamous Kris Kringle.

Haupt recently had his contract as Santa Claus with the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre terminated after a complaint arose from two photos he uploaded to Facebook depicting him as the man in red acting cheekily – one photo shows him pretending to drink out of a flask and the other shows him pretending to grab a woman’s breasts.

Cherry Lane has yet to respond to media requests for comments on the matter, but news of his termination has led to an outpouring of support for Haupt on social media.

READ MORE: Crude photos land Penticton’s Santa on the ‘naughty list

When asked if he regretted posting the pictures, Haupt told Western News staff that he stood by them

Nichols announced on Facebook that many organizations and businesses in the city have also stepped up to book Haupt as their Santa at upcoming events.

First, he will appear at Parkway Elementary School on Dec. 6 for their Christmas Fair from 5 to 5:30 p.m.

READ MORE: ‘What would Santa do?’: Head of Santa school agrees with firing of Penticton man

Then he is set to attend the upstairs of the Barley Mill Pub on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8.

Haupt will be taking Santa photos with children at the Busy Beans Play Café on Dec. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

He will also be at the Penticton Elks Lodge on Dec. 14 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and at Wayne & Freda on Dec. 15 from noon to 2 p.m.

READ MORE: SAY WHAT? Readers divided on Penticton’s Santa being fired for personal pics

You can also catch this “naughty” Santa at the Black Antler on Dec. 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and at the Penticton Vees game at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Dec. 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Finally, your pets and family get photos with Haupt as Old Saint Nick at Lucky’s Pet Supply on Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon.

To report a typo, email: [email protected].

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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