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A special honor for Mr. Jingeling: Christmas icon gets key to the city in Parma

Saturday was also proclaimed as 'Mr. Jingeling Day.'

PARMA, Ohio — Mr. Jingeling – also known as the keeper of the keys – earned a special key of his very own. The iconic Christmas character was given a key to the city in Parma on Saturday, which the mayor officially proclaimed to be “Mr. Jingeling Day.”

The honorary moment took place at Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery in Parma where Mr. Jingeling returned the favor and gifted the city’s mayor with a magical key.

Mr. Jingeling made his return to Northeast Ohio last month as Mr. Kringle & Company recently acquired the usage rights of the character.

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Mayor Tim DeGeeter, Ward 2 Councilwoman Debbie Lime and Council President Sean Brennan gave #MrJingeling a key to the...

Posted by City of Parma on Saturday, December 11, 2021

“With a newly designed suit of green velvet and gold, a thick black belt with a shiny gold buckle, and his ever-present oversized key ring, Mr. Jingeling will share the spirit of Christmas at public events and is also available to book for meet and greet appearances at private parties,” the company said in a press release back in early November.

The legacy of Mr. Jingeling stretches back several decades to when he was created in 1956. The iconic character would visit with children on the seventh floor of the Halle Building.

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“When Halle’s closed in 1982, Mr. Jingeling moved down the street to Higbee’s,” according to the press release.

The character also made appearance on The Captain Penny show.

“As the story goes, Mr. Jingeling was appointed the ‘Keeper of the Keys’ as a reward for saving Christmas when Santa lost the key to the Treasure House of Toys. Jingeling saved the day by making a new key, and was never seen without his ring of special keys that open locks to many fantastical places.”

Stepping into the role is Don Beck, who has worked as a Santa Claus throughout Northeast Ohio for more than 25 years – including time at Castle Noel in Medina.

“When I put on the costume, Don isn’t there anymore.” Beck said. “I’m honored to join an elite list of people who have carried the ring of keys.”

Beck is the seventh person to step into the role of Mr. Jingeling.

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