MORE than 1000 Father Christmases will fill the streets of Saddleworth in a flood of red festive fun as the popular Santa Dash returns next month.
That’s the aim of Saddleworth Round Table as they organise the event, now in its fourth year, for Saturday, December 1.
Open to all ages, the Santa Dash is part of the Big Lights Switch and Fireworks Display in Uppermill to celebrate Christmas.
And with tickets already selling quickly, locals are urged to get their trainers ready and snap up a ticket to be part of the fun.
Richard Foster, Chairman of Saddleworth Round Table, said: “We’re looking forward to another fun-packed afternoon with lots for all the family to see and do.
“We’re amazed at how popular the Santa Dash has become. From about 100 people four years ago, we’re expecting well over 1,000 this year, which is fantastic.
“It’s an amazing spectacle to see a sea of red Santas filling Uppermill High Street!
“As a charity all profits we raise from the event are ploughed back into the local community through worthy local causes and organisations. Thanks for your continued support.”
The Santa Dash starts at 2.30pm near the stage in Uppermill Square (by Uppermill Methodist Church), after the pre-race warm up from 1.30pm.
Two routes are available: 5km or a family (buggy) friendly 2km course so runners of all ages and abilities can join in. Adult participants receive a Santa suit while there is a Santa hat for all children taking part.
Once again, the event is supported by Revolution Radio with Elliot Eastwick from the breakfast show, plus lots of other festive acts on stage.
Richard added: “I’d like to thank all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers who without their commitment and contribution this event would not be possible.
“I’d particularly like to thank our main event sponsor Albion Farm Shop and firework sponsor Mono Alarms.
“We are still looking for volunteers to help steward and guide our runners safely around both the 2km and 5km courses. We’ll provide refreshments and an invite to the special after party. If you’re interested, please contact us via Facebook.”
Round Table is giving 50 of Dr Kershaw’s supporters the chance to take part in the Santa Dash for free to raise money for the care of the hospice’s patients.
Lillie Winterbottom, Dr Kershaw’s Community Fundraiser, said: “This is a fantastic gift which will help of our supporters raise money for patient care at Christmas.
“It will also be a totally Santa cl-awesome way to kick start the seasonal festivities for all the participants and their families!
“We’re so grateful to Saddleworth Round Table and their continued support of local people is inspiring”.
You could be one of the lucky 50 who will receive a place for free. Call Lillie Winterbottom on 0161 624 9984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can claim your place.
The Santa Dash is just the start of the fun as during the day there will be lots for all the family to see and do.
Last year’s popular Christmas Market is expanding so will offer stalls from 12noon-6pm in both the Square and by Saddleworth Museum, with a range of delicious food and drinks as well as gifts.
At 4pm the Santa parade and lights switch on will commence with Father Christmas being drawn by Saddleworth Morris Men down High Street to the Museum.
There Santa will be joined by St Chad’s School Choir and Dobcross Youth Band to sing carols before switching on the new lights supplied by Uppermill Lights Committee.
The parade will then head back up High Street to the Square for more carols and the big switch on of the tree lights before a huge fireworks final around 5.30pm-6pm.
Tickets for the Santa Dash are now on sale, priced at £12 for adults and £5 for children aged 5-17 (plus booking fee). Under 5s go free. For tickets, visit Saddleworth Round Table’s Facebook page / SaddleworthRT
Look out for the official programme, which will have further information, available from sponsors shops, pubs and restaurants on High Street from mid-November.