The Santa Claus Bowl was a weekend of youth footbball and other events sponsored initially by the Pop Warner Foundation and later by the National Boys Football Foundation. It brought together the weekend after Christmas four youth league football teams whose players ranged in age from 9 to 13 and whose weight could not exceed 110 pounds. The teams played in two semi-final games, with the winners meeting in the "championship" game and the losers in a consolation game. In addition to the games, the boys on the teams participated in a variety of events, including a Santa Claus Bowl parade, a banquet, and trips to local attractions.
The first Santa Claus Bowl event took place in 1947, apparently in Pennsylvania, but was moved to Lakeland, Florida in 1951 to take advantage of the warmer weather. It continued to be held in Lakeland through 1959, attracting teams from all over the country, including from Las Vegas, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Green Bay, Wisconsin, among many others. All the games were played at Lakeland's Bryant Stadium. Declining attendance caused the loss of national sponsorship after the 1959 Santa Claus Bowl. It continued for a few more years in Lakeland under local sponsorship on a much reduced scale.
This collecton consists of photographs of games and teams that participated in the Santa Claus Bowl between 1951 and 1959, as well as game programs from the same era.