The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, as the name implies, is an event which invites people to dress up as the fat bearded man in a red suit and to run throughout a designated run route around Las Vegas. Recently, it officially got back the distinction of being the winners of the World Santa Challenge, with 8,123 Santas running during the 2011 staging of the event. Now on its seventh year, this is one of the most prominent Santa Runs in the world, especially with its ongoing rivalry with its closest competitor, the Liverpool Santa Run, from which it wrested the championship. Both events have attracted the participation of not less than 7,000 Santas annually in recent years.
The Las Vegas Santa Run is usually held in December, as the Sin City goes deeper into the holiday season. There are two categories for different types of people, with a race intended for toddlers and children and another one for adults. In recent years, the organizers of the run decided to include a five-piece Santa costume package in the bundle of gifts meant for registered runners.
To make the event more entertaining and fun for the Santas, their supporters, and other spectators, organizers also invite artists to perform during the Las Vegas Santa Run. Many of the headlining artists are stars of many Las Vegas Strip venues. During the 2011, Jabbawockeez was one of the centers of attention, while performer Terry Fator served as the master of ceremonies. Other appearances were Robin Leach, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Commissioner Steve Sisolak, and the creator of the “Great Santa Run” song, George Dare.
The Las Vegas Santa Run is a charity event benefiting Opportunity Village, which cares for people with disabilities in Southern Nevada. The next Santa Run will be on December 1, 2012.