Super Santa Run

Super Santa Run takes over the streets of Amherstburg



By Christian Bouchard

While Christmas is still a month away, Santa Claus paid a visit to Amherstburg.

At least a lot of lookalikes that is.

Over 400 Santas hit the streets of Amherstburg for the annual Essex Region Foundation’s Super Santa Run Nov. 17.

Over 400 people dressed up as Santa Claus participated in the ninth annual Super Santa Run. The event, presented by the Essex Region Conservation Foundation, helps raise money to support conservation efforts in the Essex region such as tree planting and trail development.

The Super Santa Run partnered with the opening night of the Amherstburg River Lights Festival. The community saw hundreds of jolly participants decked out in lights, kids in strollers and dogs dressed up in Christmas outfits run or walk the five-kilometre route along downtown Amherstburg.

“We are so thankful to partner with the River Lights Festival. It’s a great day that helps everyone get into the holiday spirit, said Danielle Stuebing, director of communications and outreach services for Essex Region Conservation.

Stuebing told the River Town Times Saturday night that a financial fundraising total was not available as funds pledged were still coming in. She noted she is expecting to have raised over $10,000 at the end of the day.

“It really does get you into the holiday spirit,” said Stuebing. “It is always fun to see hundreds of Santa’s fly to that start line and run down the beautiful streets of Amherstburg.”

According to Stuebing, there were people who traveled from as far as Toronto and the United States to participate in the event.

The streets of Amherstburg were packed Saturday night with runners and walkers in Santa suits with dogs even part of the event.

“It’s a different event from some of your more traditional runs. It looks at the holidays, the spirit of giving and conservation all tied together.”

Following the run, hundreds of Santas made their way to the Navy Yard parkette where Mayor Aldo DiCarlo would help with the ceremonial countdown as the town would officially kick-off the River Lights Winter Festival.




Registrations still being accepted for Nov. 17 “Super Santa Run” in Amherstburg


Special to the RTT


As the holiday season approaches, the Super Santa 5K Run and Walk, an Amherstburg tradition is set to take place in support of Essex Region Conservation on Saturday, November 17, starting at 5 p.m.

A sea of Santas will make their merry way through downtown Amherstburg along a beautiful route that highlights a number of historic sites, including Fort Malden and Navy Yard Park. The Super Santa Run kicks off the spectacular Amherstburg River Lights Festival, and participants can enjoy the jolly festivities, which include fireworks at the end of the run.

The annual event in support of trails and trees was launched with a generous donation of $5000 from Richard and Colleen Peddie, who are long-time supporters of the Santa Run.

Super Santas will once again fill the streets during the Nov. 17 5K Run/Walk through Amherstburg. (Special to the RTT)

“We are so incredibly grateful to Richard and Colleen Peddie for their incredible support of the Super Santa Walk/Run,” stated Richard Wyma, Executive Director of the Essex Region Conservation Foundation.  “There’s already been some fundraising momentum from other participants as a result, and we’re hoping that with everyone’s participation, the Peddie’s generous gift will be matched.”

In fact, to encourage more of the nearly 500 Santas to obtain pledges, prizes incentives for top fundraisers have been introduced.  “The top youth fundraiser will receive 10 free passes to the Adventure Bay Family Water Park,” Wyma said.  “And for adults, the top fundraiser will receive a $250 gift card to the Devonshire Mall to help with holiday shopping!”

Registration fees are $45 per adult, and $35 for children under 16.

All participants will receive a free Santa suit to wear during the run, and a delicious post-race meal, courtesy of Sobeys Amherstburg.

All funds raised support the efforts of the Essex Region Conservation Foundation in enriching the Place for Life by planting trees and creating trails, so join in the jolly fun and register your entire family today at .

Santa’s ‘nice list’ already includes Union Gas, Kingsbridge Developments, Richard and Colleen Peddie and Sobey’s Amherstburg for supporting this event.


Super Santas to run in support of local conservation


Special to the RTT

Bells will be ringing in downtown Amherstburg as hundreds of jolly participants run and walk in support of the local environment at Essex Region Conservation’s annual Super Santa Run next month.

A sea of Santas will flood the streets along the five-kilometre route, which winds its way through downtown Amherstburg and highlights a number of historic sites, including Fort Malden and Navy Yard Park. The event also kicks off the spectacular Amherstburg River Lights Festival, which runs until December 30.

The Super Santa Run will take place on Saturday, November 17, starting at 5 p.m. The town’s municipal tree lighting ceremony will follow.

“This is event is fun for the whole family. In addition to promoting healthy and active living, it is a great way to kick off the holiday season,” said Essex Region Conservation Foundation president Susan Stockwell Andrews. “It’s always amazing to watch nearly five-hundred Santas fill the streets in support of conservation efforts.”

Runners in Santa Claus suits run down Dalhousie St. This year’s Essex Region Conservation Foundation “Super Santa Run” is scheduled for Nov. 17. (Submitted photo)

Registration fees are $45 per adult and $35 for children under 16. All participants will receive a free Santa suit to wear for the run, including a jacket, pants, belt, beard, and hat. Teams of ten or more will receive $5 off per participant, so grab your friends, cousins, and co-workers to join in the jolly fun – and save!

If a person is not able to participate, the Essex Region Conservation Foundation asks people to consider being one of Santa’s helpers as a volunteer marshal along the route. The event is a great opportunity for high school students to fulfill their required community hours.

All funds raised support the efforts of the Essex Region Conservation Foundation in enriching the Place for Life. Recent successes include opening the Cypher Systems Group Greenway, and creating the Rotary (1918) Centennial Hub, to bring the community’s vision of a region connected by trails to reality.

People can join in the jolly fun and register your entire family today at Santa’s “nice list” includes Union Gas and Sobey’s Amherstburg for supporting this event.

For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.

River Lights officially opened after one-day rain delay




By Jolene Perron


What started out as a way to attract visitors to the downtown core during the slowest time of the year, has grown into an all encompassing festival with layers of economic involvement and holiday spirit.

“River Lights is so important for many reasons,” explained River Lights coordinator Sarah Van Grinsven. “One, community spirit.  River Lights brings people out of hibernation and enjoying the holiday season with their fellow citizens. Two, community partnership. So many groups work together to make River Lights work, from museums, galleries to other not-for-profits. And of course the sponsors who show they care through in kind and cash sponsorships. Three, economic development. The more action in the streets, the more in our downtown businesses.”

Ajay McGowan (right), Ryleigh Labutte (centre) and Colton Labutte (left) get an up-close look at the lights during the opening ceremony for the River Lights Winter Festival last Sunday night.

The opening weekend of the festival included the Super Santa Run, which was held Nov. 18 as planned despite the rain. The outdoor holiday movie and municipal tree lighting were rescheduled to Nov. 19, which turned out to be a much drier evening. Van Grinsven called the festival a “magical event” because of how it spreads joy to all those who visit and how it brings the community together. Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo echoed those thoughts and feelings.

Town crier Frank Gorham welcomes the crowd to the River Lights opening ceremony.

“People love the event,” said DiCarlo. “It’s family friendly and seems to have become Amherstburg’s official launch of the holiday season. I’ve also heard from visitors who come from outside the region for the event. Every year we add more to see and do, and clearly this is translating to the people who look forward to the event. Personally, my family has been attending since the first year, and we still look forward to it, especially when it’s not as cold.”

The municipal tree is lit at the Richmond Street entrance of the King’s Navy Yard park for the first time Nov. 19 during the opening ceremony of the River Lights Winter Festival.

The festival also includes the lights and displays around the Town of Amherstburg, as well as the gingerbread warming house, which will also be open in Toddy Jones Park every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. until Christmas.

Free carriage rides will be available Dec. 2, 9 and 15, and the Holiday House Tours will also take place next week, Nov. 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Crowd of soggy Santas run in rain through downtown streets



By Jolene Perron


The Holiday Spirit has enveloped Amherstburg, despite the rain, and the Super Santa Run has brought hundreds of “Santa’s” to the core Saturday evening.

“It didn’t matter what the weather is, we were coming. We are putting out our Santa suits and it doesn’t matter,” said Leamington native Pauline Kniaziew. “We have been doing this for five years or so, it’s the beginning of our Christmas every year, we look forward to it. We love it, it’s very Christmassy, and the weather today isn’t that great but still looks like there will be a good number coming in anyways.”

The Super Santa Walk/Run is one of the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s annual fundraising events. ERCA works with the Town of Amherstburg to put on the event.

Runners young and old braved Saturday evening’s Super Santa Run. A total of 67 people walked and 205 ran in the event.

“I think that the Super Santa Run is a wonderful event that can involve the entire family,” explained Danielle Breault Stuebing, director of communications and outreach services for ERCA. “It gets people outdoors and active in a wonderfully fun and comical way. It’s quite a spectacular sight to see hundreds of Santa’s storming the streets of Amherstburg, and all of the residents who line the streets to cheer them on. The route showcases some of our region’s special places, including Fort Malden and the Navy Yard Park, all while raising funds for important conservation work.”

Nearly 500 Santa’s Run each year in support of the conservation and their efforts to make the region a place for life. Mayor Also DiCarlo said ERCA plays “an important role” in helping to maintain the natural environment across the region, Amherstburg included.

Runners young and old braved Saturday evening’s Super Santa Run. A total of 67 people walked and 205 ran in the Nov. 18 event.

“We love hosting this event for them, and are honoured that they’ve kept the event in our community,” said DiCarlo. “We will always work with them every chance we get. As for the run itself; I tell people who haven’t witnessed it, seeing that many Santa’s of all ages running and walking in downtown Amherstburg will definitely put a smile on your face. The event is infectious with the holiday cheer it infuses in our community.”