WORLD SANTA CHALLENGE: Have you heard of it? The worldwide challenge to see if your event can garner to most Santas? It's fairly heated, if friendly, because consider that cities around the globe boast events where many, many Jolly Old Elves, complete with trim-lined red coats and shiny buckled belts, gather in one place. But we have a winner near home, yes indeed. Make that an eight-time winner: The Great Santa Run in Las Vegas has won the World Santa Challenge over several years. The reason is as plain as a happy horde of Santas running in your direction: Thousands of Santas show for this thing. How thousands, you might ask? Oh, along about 10,000, give or take. This isn't a fun run where some people spread on a little neon body paint while most others don't; participants are way, way into dressing as Kris Kringle before heading out onto the streets of Sin City for a five-kilometer run.
SERIOUSLY: If you're missing Bay to Breakers, or one of California's mondo costume runs, this is a fine and festive way to get you through the winter months, when the dressier marathons and halfers are fewer. And don't you already own a full Santa suit? We just bet you do. If you realllly want to go Vegas, you'll add a pompadour and some oversized sunglasses. In fact, if there aren't a dozen Elvis-Santa mash-ups in the run, well then. We're not even going to finish that thought, because it is probably not statistically possible.
SO DRY-CLEAN YOUR SANTA SUIT FOR... Saturday, Dec. 7. Shania Twain is the Grand Marshal -- she's totally going Santafied too, we hope, fingers crossed -- and the Fremont Street Experience serves as a colorful, bulb-blinky leg of the the event. Some Vegas-style entertainment'll get things going (look for a "Jersey Boy" to croon as well as some dance steps straight from Jabbawockeez, straight from a Luxor stage show). And the beneficiary of the day? Opportunity Village, "a non-profit organization that serves people in the Southern Nevada community with intellectual disabilities, to enhance their lives, and the lives of the families who love them." Can't make the run but want to help? You can donate, of course.