For six years, Joseph Silvasy dressed as Santa Claus and rode a reindeer-drawn sleigh during the annual Lions Club Santa Parade.
But when Silvasy died of leukemia in October, the parade needed a new Santa.
So Michelle Beauchesne, vice president of the Lions Club, began sifting through resumes and head shots. She found Jim Trubey, a 59-year-old student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Trubey, who lives in St. Petersburg, has spent the past couple of weeks "getting into character.''
He has shined his black boots and polished his brass belt buckle. "I'm just getting my Santa stuff together," he said. "I need to get into that Santa frame of mind."
IF YOU GO
The 79th annual Santa Parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown St. Petersburg. Information: 525-5950.
The 34th annual Pinellas Park Holiday Parade starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 on Park Boulevard at 58th Street. Information: 547-8050.
The 32nd annual Holiday Parade: All Aboard for the Holidays! starts at 10 a.m. Dec. 10 at Park Boulevard between 58th and 43rd streets N. Information: 547-8050.