Autumn is well and truly on its way and that means one thing - Christmas is coming. With the festive season comes Santa, and in Ashby there will be the big man himself - as far as the eye can see. The Ashby Castle Rotary Club has announced the return of its popular Ashby Santa Fun Run and Walk on Sunday, December 3.
Following last year's record breaking event where 1,013 Santas entered to run or walk the course around Ashby, organisers are hoping for another record breaking year to raise money for this year's main charities. People taking part in the event all dress as Santa, making for a great spectacle.
Thanks to big support last year from businesses and sponsorship, the event raised more than £11,000 for charities supported by the rotary club. In light of this the organisers have decided to spread this year's net proceeds and support four charities - Hospice Hope, Rainbows Children's Hospice, Wishes 4 Kids and Sailability.
The event is, again, being organised in conjunction with Ashby Town Council and will complete a weekend of entertainment in Ashby with the Christmas fair taking place in the town the day before.
The aim of the fun run and walk is to provide a Christmas fund-raising event suitable for families, friends and groups looking to get into the Christmas spirit while raising funds good causes.
The event takes participants on a 3km route around Ashby taking in some of the town's picturesque sights, starting and finishing on the Bath Grounds. As part of the entry fee, all participants are provided with a Santa suit, hat and beard to run or walk with more than 1,000 Santas.
It starts at 10.45am with event sponsors Fitness Republic providing a warm up routine to some famous Christmas songs before the event formally begins at 11am.
Santa Run resident compere Chris Knight will be on hand once again to talk to Santas as they arrive back on the Bath Grounds and entertain the many people who come and support the event.
Ashby Hastings Cricket Club will be providing hot and cold refreshments on the Bath Grounds, there will be musical entertainment with Christmas songs and also a full brass band playing traditional Christmas songs. The "real" Rotary Santa and sleigh will also be on hand to talk to young and old alike and give out some chocolates.
The rotary club has decided to increase the options with personal sponsorship this year. To help to raise even more money there will be a downloadable sponsorship form on the event website to allow people to raise personal sponsorship if they wish.
Individuals will also be able to choose which of the four main sponsors they would like to donate their sponsorship money to if they have a preference, allowing people to take part in the event in support of one or more specific charities.
Dale Warren, from the Rotary Club of Ashby Castle, said: "This event is becoming a firm fixture in the Ashby calendar and it's a great day for young and old alike to get in to the Christmas spirit, have some fun and raise lots of money for these very worthy causes. The event keeps growing and we'd love to beat last year's total of 1,013 Santas to provide another great spectacle and advert for the town."
Entry costs £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. More information on the event is available at www.ashbysantarun.com or by searching Ashby Santa Run on Facebook and Twitter.