Santa Clauses hit the street en masse for Super Santa Run



Super Santa Run1 Super Santa Run2 Super Santa Run3By Ron Giofu


Santa Claus may not be officially arriving until this Saturday night’s parade, but don’t tell that to the over 500 people that dressed up as Santa this past Saturday.

The Essex Region Conservation Foundation (ERCF) presented the fifth annual Super Santa Run last weekend with the event now paired with the opening of the River Lights Winter Festival. Susanne Tomkins, a communications specialist with ERCF, said organizers were “very thrilled” with having over 500 entrants this year.

“It’s our best year,” she said.

The route was different this year as, instead of starting and ending on Pickering Dr. near the Wal-Mart plaza, it started and finished out front of the Navy Yard Park parkette. Tomkins said they are hoping for at least $5,000 to be raised for ERCF, a foundation that is affiliated with the Essex Region Conservation Authority and funds environmental projects.

“It’s a great way to kick off the Christmas season,” said Tomkins.

Tomkins pointed out there were entire classes of school children, hockey teams, workplace teams, families and many others that took part.

“It’s all levels, all ages,” she said.

Teaming with River Lights “was a great, natural partnership,” Tomkins stated, before adding that partnership will continue next year. There were a number of sponsors and volunteers that assisted in making the event happen, she continued.

River Lights administrator Karen Gyorgy was also pleased with how the partnership turned out, saying teaming with the Super Santa Run was “a terrific opportunity to partner with another group of people” and bring more people down to enjoy the River Lights opening, tree lighting ceremony and fireworks.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Gyorgy. “It adds another element to the River Lights festival.”

The participants also had a good time.

“The Santa run is cool, seeing 500 Santas running through the streets,” said Kelsey Willms of Leamington, while one of her friends, Nicole George of Windsor, joked “we really just wanted to run in a suit.”

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