On Saturday, December 1, thousands of Santas gathered for the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run sponsored by Circle K, benefiting beloved local organization Opportunity Village. Met by a sea of Kris Kringle lookalikes on Fremont Street Experience, Grand Marshal Lance Burton: Master Magician welcomed participants and kicked off the highly anticipated race (Pictured: Grand Marshal Lance Burton and Santa – Photo credits: Opportunity Villages).
Following a high-energy Zumba warm up led by Kat ‘n John, Jason Feinberg and Alyssa Deitsch of FOX5 introduced an array of special guests including Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former mayor Oscar Goodman; acclaimed male revue stars The Chippendales; Opportunity Village President and CEO Bob Brown; Opportunity Village Vice President of Philanthropy Adam Joseph; Santa Claus; and The Plaza Hotel CEO Jonathan Jossel.
Donned in full five-piece Santa suits, 5K and 1-mile runners and walkers enjoyed energetic performances from Opportunity Village’s all-Elvis dance troupe, the OV Elvi, and singer George Dare with “Run, Santa, Run” accompanied by Fit4Mom Las Vegas. Additionally, entertainers Human Nature and Gabriella Versace from SEXXY got everyone in a holiday spirit with holiday serenades. Opportunity Village mascot, OV Bear, alongside Cosmo of the Las Vegas 51s, Cash the Soccer Rocker of the Las Vegas Lights FC and the Golden Aces and Chance of the Golden Knights.
Burton waved to energetic runners as he led the crowd from the 3rd Street Stage through the Fremont Street Experience to the start line in a Las Vegas Raiders fan vehicle, the “Raiders Ambulance.” After a jolly performance by Lorena Peril ofFANTASY and a countdown complete with confetti showers, thousands of Santas were off as they made their way through Downtown Las Vegas. From there, The Chippendales led the rest of the crowd to the one-mile Kris Kringle Jingle Walk.
Participants were met with commemorative Santa medals, music, food trucks, a petting zoo, giant foosball, and more at the Great Santa Run’s official after party, which took place in Zappos’ Llama Lot. Entertainment included acts from SILVERSAGE, Legends in Concert, Aussie Heat, DJ Ultra, and Tom Jones Clone.
The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is Opportunity Village’s largest single-day fundraiser, to date, and has raised millions of dollars toward the charity’s support of nearly 2,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities in Southern Nevada. For more information, visit www.LVSantaRun.com.