Perhaps one of Las Vegas’ funniest holiday events takes place this weekend when thousands suit up for the Seventh Annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run. Runners decked out in the red attire and beards of Santa Clause make the 5K jaunt Saturday morning at Town Square. This year’s race will feature entertainment from a number of Las Vegas Strip headliners, parachuting Santa Clauses, delicious food and more.
Making this year’s Great Santa Run a global initiative, 500 men and women with the Army National Guard will participate in the Santa Run from their own race route in Afghanistan that morning. A recorded video of their race will be display at Town Square during the Las Vegas run.
Look for a performance by Monte Carlo headliners Jabbawockeez before the race while Mirage headliner and the event’s Grand Marshal Terry Fator also will pump up the crowd. During the race, five Santa Clauses will parachute into Town Square to kick off the race. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, honorary chair Robin Leach, honorary great Santa Commissioner Steve Sisolak and creator of the “Great Santa Run” song George Dare will all be on hand.
Runners will get a great view of the Strip when they sprint over the new Sunset Bridge near Town Square.
Every year, the race averages more than 7,000 runners. This year’s goal is to reach 15,000 Santas to take the world record back from Derry, Ireland, which set the record in 2007 with 12,965 participants.
It’s not too late to register. To help Opportunity Village bring the world record back to the United States, register through the Opportunity Village website. Pre-registration is $35, or $25 for 12 and under; day-of registration is $45 and $35 for 12 and under. Registration fee includes a five-piece Santa Suit and great gifts. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 10 a.m.
The race is at Town Square, Las Vegas, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. S., in the front parking lot.