IT’S not every day you see more than 500 Santas milling in the one spot, but that’s exactly the extraordinary sight that greeted pub patrons and diners in Tamworth’s CBD on Friday night.
More than 500 festive revellers braved the heat to don their woolly red-and-white suits and join the hugely popular Santa Crawl to help raise money for Ronald McDonald House and other children’s charities.
Participants made the annual pilgrimage to seven pubs and clubs during the evening, collecting funds and many bemused stares along the way.
The annul fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Tamworth First Light is in its ninth year and always attracts a creative range of outfits – some naughty, some nice – and this year’s event was no exception.
Apart from old St Nick and Mrs Claus, merrymakers dressed up as angels, reindeers, snowmen, wise men and even Jesus and Mary themselves.
Organiser Chris Watson said the tally, which sits at more than $10,000, was “a credit to the town and to all those involved”.
“It’s wonderful, especially at this time of the year when people are already spending money on Christmas,” Mr Watson said.
The head Santa said he was initially concerned the heat would deter his associates from showing up.
“I was really quite worried about the numbers, because it was so hot, but the beer was cold and flowing,” Mr Watson said.
“By the end of the night a lot of Santas were without their jackets or beards or hats.”
Meal breaks were provided to ensure the Santas did not get too merry.
“All the Santas were good little Santas,” Mr Watson said.
“They knew the big fella was up there watching over them, so they had to behave.”