Video footage provided to WPEC-TV, West Palm Beach, by witness Milly Olson depicts the Santa, who officials at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens said is a professional rope climber, beginning his descent from a catwalk Saturday and halting almost immediately when his beard becomes stuck in the equipment.
The video shows the emcee leading the watching children below in a rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to give Santa the "magic" he needs to finish rappelling.
Santa eventually removed his beard and hat and made it the rest of the way to the ground, where he quickly exited. Mall officials said the man performed the stunt for free and asked to remain anonymous.
Officials said the man had performed the stunt without complications during a test run, but he had not been wearing the beard at the time.