Rapid City Walmart greeter spreads Christmas cheer - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City Walmart greeter spreads Christmas cheer


He may not be traveling the world on Christmas Eve, or even have eight reindeer, but there's a look-a-like at the Rapid City Walmart that could give Santa a run for his money.

"About every other kid goes, 'hey, there's Santa.'  And I go, 'well, I'm Santa's twin," said Dave Neal. 

Neal's philosophy: when you've got, flaunt it.  And, he does, from his physique to his beard.  "My daughter's 28, and I've had it (beard) since then. 28 years." 

But it's not just his look that makes Neal a perfect fit for the role.

"Dave is Dave year 'round. But he is also the quintessential good natured jolly individual that's like by everybody and just enthusiastic - especially during the holiday season," said Mark Haberman, Walmart Store Manager. 

"I think it helps a little bit because they all come through with a smile.   And that's good.   I like that," said Neal. 

Even his co-workers can't help but catch the holiday spirit.  "Every one of them calls me Santa, so it must be a good thing," laughed Neal. 

And, this time of year, let's just say he answers more than customer questions about Walmart products and aisle numbers.  

"Where are his elves or where are the reindeer hiding," said Haberman when asked what questions he hears customers ask. 

Neal tells them, "they're up on the roof." 

Although he jokes about playing the part, there is some irony in where Neal began his career at Walmart.  

"If it's not the toy department, probably the next best choice would be the frozen foods department.   He definitely fits the bill as to where Santa Clause comes from," said Haberman. 

"Frozen food was real good to me but this is great," said Neal.

A deserving break for an employee whose kind face and words give the rest of us a break from the hustle and bustle of the shopping season. 

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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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