Brockton is the home of the first department store Santa Claus.
In 1890 James Edgar the owner of the largest department store in New England
at the time brought the famous Thomas Nast illustration to life
and created a tradition that has become a memory for everyone across America.
To honor James Edgar and his love for children the people of Brockton established the
Santa Hat Challenge several years ago.
The Challenge today is to follow these simple steps:
1. Put on your Santa Hat
2. Take a selfie
3. Post it to your Facebook page and proclaim
“I took the Santa Hat Challenge!”
4. Post this on your Facebook page and challenge
all your friends to join in the fun in
Downtown Brockton on Saturday, November 26th at 12 noon.
Put on Your Santa hat for the largest gathering of Santa Hats on the planet: www.santahatchallenge.com
Thank you to everyone that accepts the Challenge! – See more at:
In November of 2008, the elves of USAChristmastown thought it was time to bring
attention to a great Brocktonian, Mr. James Edgar. “Uncle Jim”
as he was fondly called by the children of Brockton, became
America’s First Department Store Santa.
The Santa Hat Challenge was created to bring awareness of Mr. Edgar’s
generosity and philanthropy to the children of Brockton Massachusetts.
Santa Hats (sponsored by Signature Healthcare) were distributed throughout
the city along with a history lesson of Mr. James Edgar and a date was organized
to set a world record of the most people wearing Santa hats, all in his honor.
The first year over 500 people gathered in front of a plaque
(donated by Good Samaritan Medical Center) dedicated to Mr. Edgar
at the location of the original Edgar’s Department store
in Downtown Brockton. The following year the Irish Echo reported that
Mullingar Ireland joined in on the fun and broke Brockton’s record
by gathering 780 people subsequently a brotherhood was bonded between the
two cities. Later in November of that year Brockton reclaimed the record
with 982 and in 2011 set a new record with 1780.
In 2012 Brockton and Mullingar agreed to join forces to attempt the first ever Live
Simulcast of The Santa Hat Challenge by gathering the most people wearing
Santa Hats Intercontinentally.
In 2013, an estimated 700 people braved frigid temperatures to gather downtown for
the annual Santa Hat Challenge.
This wonderful community event helps spread the word of the story of Mr. James Edgar
becoming the First Department Store Santa in 1890, a tradition which will celebrate
its 125th anniversary in 2015 and still brings joy to children all over the world.