A big cheer as hundreds of Santas paint the town red

YOU better watch out, Santa Claus is coming to town – and he’ll be hard to miss.

More than 500 Santas are expected to bring plenty of Christmas cheer to Tamworth tonight for an epic, festive pub crawl.

The annual Santa Crawl, hosted by the Rotary Club of Tamworth First Light, will see hundreds of Santa clones visiting seven local venues to help raise money for Ronald McDonald House Tamworth.

Participants pay a $10 registration fee and have their “Santa passport” stamped at each venue.

Ronald McDonald House Tamworth manager and “head Santa” Chris Watson said the growing popularity of the event was “mind-blowing”.

“The first year we had 30 to 50 come along and this year we’ve already got 571 RSVPs,” Mr Watson said.

“It’s a great way for people to get out, give a bit to charity and have fun at the same time.”

He admitted hundreds of Santas in Peel St after midnight could be a curious sight for passers-by.

“It is strange seeing 200 Santas lined up at the taxi rank at 2am,” Mr Watson said.

In previous years participants were asked to follow the head Santa from pub to pub, but this year, due to the large numbers, Santas just have to ensure they visit all seven venues during the night.

While the numbers are growing exponentially, Mr Watson said it might take a few more years yet to reach the Santa world record, set in Reno, Nevada, where 4400 Santas gathered.

This year, participants can register from 5pm to 6pm at Wests’ Diggers, from 6pm to 6.45pm at The Goodies or from 6.45pm to 7.30pm at the Post Office Hotel.

Santas need to visit all seven venues between 6pm and 11pm and be back at Wests’ Diggers at 11pm to go into the draw to win prizes.

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