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Community Advocacy Organization

The Black Santa Experience Returns to Lansing for Its Second Year on Small Business Saturday

Over 25+ Black-Owned Businesses and 1,000 People Expected to Attend

Lansing, November 08, 2023 — The Black Santa Experience, an inclusive holiday celebration designed to bring the joy of the season to all, is set to make its grand return to Lansing on Small Business Saturday, November 25, 2023 from 10 AM to 8 PM at The Venue by Eleven 11 Events. Karla Wagner, founder of the Black Santa Experience, and Phebeit Ingram, owner of The Venue by Eleven 11 Events, are once again collaborating to create a magical experience that resonates with families and the community. They will be joined by dozens of Black-owned small businesses to showcase Lansing’s thriving community of Black entrepreneurs. The event will also include a silent auction with proceeds going to the purchase and delivery of individualized gifts to Lansing children by Black Santa on Christmas Eve.

The Black Santa Experience was born out of a heartfelt need for culturally inclusive holiday celebrations where children have the opportunity to see a Santa that looks like them. Last year's inaugural event drew 30 Black-owned businesses and nearly 1000 attendees, underlining the significance of such events in our community.

The event is held on Small Business Saturday to create a vibrant marketplace that highlights local black-owned businesses. It's a golden opportunity to discover unique and diverse products and services while supporting entrepreneurs from the community. Businesses like Socialight Society, an independent bookshop that specifically caters to Black women who often lack representation in traditional bookstores, will be in attendance and will host the Socialight Society Storytime Stage - hourly story time for children, from 12 - 5pm.

Karla Wagner expressed her excitement, stating, "Representation matters and The Black Santa Experience is all about creating a magical holiday atmosphere where we celebrate our culture. All are welcome! We were blown away by the response last year, and we are thrilled to bring it back to Lansing for another unforgettable event”.

Phebeit Ingram, shared her enthusiasm for this collaboration, saying, "The Venue is honored to once again be the host for this extraordinary event that celebrates us. The Venue is ready to provide the perfect backdrop for this year's Black Santa Experience, and we can't wait to welcome attendees for a day of festive fun."

Businesses looking to become sponsors for the Black Santa Experience are encouraged to reach out to Ms. Wagner to explore partnership possibilities. Sponsoring the event not only provides brands with valuable visibility to a diverse and engaged audience, but also shows support for an event that promotes unity and community spirit.

ReShane and Steven Lonzo, owners of Lansing’s premier cigar lounge, The Comfort Zone Cigar Lounge & Bistro, and a sponsor of this year’s event have a special treat for parents.”Join us at The Comfort Zone @The Black Santa Experience – where the magic of the holiday season meets the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence. It's a sneak peek into the luxurious ambiance and comfort you'll find at our lounge. Come unwind, savor, and discover a taste of the extraordinary while supporting a great cause,” said the Lonzos.

This event will be followed by The Black Santa Experience Christmas Eve Toy Delivery on Christmas Eve. With a “sleigh” provided by Sundance Chevrolet, Black Santa will answer the letters the children wrote during The Black Santa Experience. The Black Santa Experience welcomes all to participate in the silent auction at the event on November 25 to support this effort.

WHAT: The Black Santa Experience on Small Business Saturday

WHO: Lansing Community

WHEN: Saturday, November 25, 2023, from 10 AM to 8 PM

WHERE: The Venue by Eleven 11 Events

5660 W Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917

For more information about The Black Santa Experience, donations, sponsorship or vendor opportunities please contact: Karla Wagner at or visit the website,

About the Black Santa Experience:

The Black Santa Experience is a holiday event that showcases Black businesses and celebrates the magic of the Holiday season in a joyful and inclusive way. Founded by Karla Wagner, the event creates lasting memories and brings the community together in an incredible celebration of our culture.

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