*** Golden Age 1940s / 1950s style Santa Claus, with a background in public speaking and theater ***
Michael Rielly first appeared as Santa Claus in a school play in 1971 at the age of 8 and has been a historically accurate, Golden Age Santa Claus ever since. Michael is also a third generation Santa. His grandfather, James (Jim) D. Rielly, was Santa Claus for 62 years and was well-known throughout the Northeastern United States and was inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame in 2010.
After the passing of his grandfather in 1991, grandson Michael took over the role as Santa Claus and continues his grandfather's work, appearing at many of the very same venues as his grandfather once did. In addition to the charities his grandfather once supported, Michael donates 100% of any proceeds from his Santa Claus appearances to: Toys For Tots, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Michael has been recognized as “Rhode Island's premier Santa” and an “expert in Santa Claus and Christmas”; he has been featured in publications such as: Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, Providence Monthly, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Bristol Phoenix, Providence Journal, The Bay, Fall River Herald, the Associated Press, Reuters, and CNN. He has also appeared on 920-WHJJ, 680-WRKO, NBC WJAR-TV, ABC WLNE-TV, CBS WPRI-TV Rhode Show, and Good Morning America. Michael is also featured in the Santa Claus documentary, "They Wore The Red Suit".
Michael is a graduate of the St. Nicholas Institute in Livonia Michigan, the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland Michigan, and the International University of Santa Claus. He serves on the board of directors for the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame and is Adviser to the Santa Claus Oath Foundation.
Michael is also a member of the Knights of St. Nicholas. Sir Michael was knighted in the Benevolent Order of the Knights of St. Nicholas in 2015.
In 2007, Michael founded the Santa Claus community, ClausNet — the largest community and resource for men and women dedicated to the faithful portrayal of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and all others who devote their time to bringing the magic of Christmas to children and adults throughout the world!
Michael is also an accomplished and dynamic public speaker with a background in music and theater.