Photo courtesy of NorthPark Center

There’s a new Santa at NorthPark Center.

The jolly fellow in the red suit this December will be Joel Lagrone, an aerospace engineer and actor/musician.

Lagrone fills the black boots of Carl Anderson, a licensed psychologist who held the job for 32 years before retiring after the 2021 season.

“Lagrone, with his jolly disposition and snow-white beard, brings decades of experience to his portrayal of the iconic figure,” says a NorthPark media release.

His stage credits include Les Miserables, The Music Man and The Wizard of Oz. He’s also sung the National Anthem before Texas Rangers home games, and he performs in a local band, AeroMotion.

“His biggest passion is sharing his love of Christmas through music and storytelling with people of all ages,” the media release states.

Lagrone graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in aerospace engineering in 1985 and has worked at Lockheed Martin for the past 23 years.

Personal visits with Santa are by appointment only, from Nov. 25-Dec. 24, and can be booked online starting at noon Nov. 20. Tickets cost $25 and benefit Children’s Health. Each visit includes a private conversation with Santa, a photography session and a commemorative photo.

Santa also makes free public appearances with songs and stories at the mall (first floor of Macy’s) from 10:30 a.m.-Noon Monday-Saturday between Nov. 25-Dec. 24.