Michael J. Rielly

“Rhode Island’s Santa Legacy”
Bristol, Rhode Island
1963 – Current

International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – December 2019

In 1971, with a little help from his grandfather James D. Rielly, Michael Rielly, first donned the red suit. Little did he know that he was following in his grandfather’s boot steps.

Michael Rielly has appeared as Santa in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television throughout Southern New England and has been recognized as “Rhode Island’s premier Santa” and an “expert in Santa and Christmas”. In 2007, he founded the ClausNet Santa Claus Network – the largest community and resource for men and women actors dedicated to the traditions and faithful portrayal of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and Christmas Performers.

In 2017, Michael established the James D. Rielly Foundation; a non-profit 501(c)(3) all volunteer organization that provides charitable and emotional support to Veterans and the children and families of military, law enforcement, and first responders hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges. And in 2022, the organization launched the Bristol Santa House with the mission to provide a magical Christmas experience for children of all ages with physical and mental disabilities and their families.

Additional Information
James D. Rielly Foundation