A FLASH mob-style conga of Santas round St Johns Shopping Centre has launched two very special festive events taking place in Liverpool for Christmas 2017.
First up is the Radio City Liverpool Santa Dash, in association with Arriva Bus, on Sunday, 3 December – with numerous Father Christmas’ taking part in the conga four weeks ahead of the festive annual spectacle.
The Liverpool Santa Dash is back for its 14th consecutive year. The event is the UK’s biggest festive 5K fun run, and it’s highly regarded as the city’s kick-start to Christmas.
The festive fun continues and less than a week after the Liverpool Santa Dash, St Johns Shopping Centre will stage its inaugural fundraising Santa Conga at 6pm on Thursday, 7 December.
Claire House Children’s Hospice, which has bases in Wirral and Liverpool, is announced as the official charity for both festive events.
Visitors and shoppers at St Johns Shopping Centre were given a taster of what to expect from the Santa Conga with a festive flash mob last Friday, led by teams from BTR Liverpool and St Johns Shopping Centre.
Special guests included original Big Brother winner and TV handyman Craig Phillips and fiancée Laura Sherriff; Radio City presenter Simon Greening; sponsors Arriva Bus and SP Energy Networks; volunteers from Claire House Children’s Hospice; Santa Dash ever presents Joan West and Peter Morgan, who have taken part in every Santa Dash, making this year their 14th event; Santa Dash regulars – and even two larger than life mascots, a festive dressed Claire Bear from Claire House, and Sparky from SP Energy Networks.
This year’s event is also supported by SP Energy Networks and St Johns Shopping Centre Liverpool. A new Santa Dash pop-up shop is now open on the upper level of St Johns Shopping Centre where Santas can sign-up and collect their Santa suits. The shop will be open daily until Saturday, 2 December. Entries are open and more than 3,000 red, blue and mini Santas have already registered.
The Liverpool Santa Dash starts at 9.30am from Pier Head Liverpool. The route takes Santas through the city centre and over the Churchill fly-over. Festive characters and guaranteed snow await participants as they cross the finish line at Liverpool Town Hall.
Youngsters aged 12 and under even have their own 1K Mini Dash. This starts in Castle Street at approximately 11am after the Santa Dash.
The Radio City Liverpool Santa Dash is organised and delivered by BTR Liverpool, whose Race Director Alan Rothwell created the event in 2004. Three years later, the event expanded in 2007 to include the 1K Mini Dash, followed by the introduction of blue Santa suits by public demand in 2010.
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “What a fun and entertaining way to officially launch this year’s Liverpool Santa Dash. In recent years we’ve had Santas on a zip-wire, Santas on a city centre roof-top and Santas on an open-top bus tour – and now joining forces with St Johns Shopping Centre for the very first Santa Conga, a great new addition to the festive calendar for St Johns.
“The Liverpool Santa Dash is very special and it’s a real highlight of the year for so many people. Nothing really compares to seeing thousands upon thousands of red, blue and mini Santas at the Pier Head – the smiles on people’s faces and laughter is incredibly infectious. Come and join us on 3 December for another special event.”
Santas are being encouraged to keep hold of their red and blue Santa suits for a few more days to take part in the very first Santa Conga at St Johns Shopping Centre at 6pm on Thursday, 7 December. The meeting point is Roe Street (next to Matalan). Christmas jumpers are also encouraged for those who don’t have Santa suits.
Santa Conga participants are invited to donate £1, which will be donated to Claire House Children’s Hospice. Register to collect a Santa Conga number at the Santa Dash pop-up shop in St Johns Shopping Centre.
Neil Ashcroft, Centre Manager of St Johns Shopping Centre, added: “We are extremely excited to launch our inaugural Santa Conga to raise funds for Claire House Children’s Hospice. The conga is a great addition to a full programme of festive fun taking place at St Johns Shopping Centre this Christmas.
“We’re delighted to be working with BTR Liverpool and welcome the Santa Dash pop-up shop to St Johns. Festive cheer has really come early to the centre, and it’s fantastic to see so many people already collecting their Santa suits – so please sign up for the Santa Conga when you visit.”
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