A ski resort in Maine was transformed into the North Pole on steroids Sunday when 210 Santas took over the slopes for an annual charity event.
The 210 Santas each came dressed in a full, white beard, red hat and pom-pom, red jolly suit and black belt buckle, per the event’s strict requirements.
“The resort elves make sure Santas are dressed properly from head to toe before letting them on the slopes,” said Darcy Morse, communications director for Sunday River Resort, which hosted the Santa Sunday and is located in Bethel, in western Maine.
The skiing Santas have been a fixture on the resort’s slopes for the past 14 years, when the rotary club of a nearby village first approached the resort to do a fundraiser for its holiday toy drive.
The event is now so popular that registration for this year’s event filled up in three minutes, according to Morse.
Each Santa must donate a minimum of $10 to participate and receives a free lift ticket on the day of the event and another ticket to use before Christmas Day in return, as well as the joy of spreading Christmas cheer to the approximately 1,000-room resort.
“It’s incredibly festive and kicks off the holiday spirit at the resort,” Morse said. “All of our lodges are decorated by then and seeing the Santas out on the slopes is just a lot of fun for participants and guests alike.”
According to Morse, this year’s Santas were able to enjoy an especially good day of skiing and snowboarding thanks to a season of “insanely good snowmaking weather.”
“Our conditions are some of the best that we’ve seen for this time of year,” Morse said. “We’ve been able to open more and more terrain.”
This year’s Santa Sunday raised $2,100 for the Bethel Rotary’s annual holiday toy drive.