As nearly everyone with a pulse understands, there's always something going on in New Orleans. From pro sports events to parties to some of the best food on earth there's always a good time right around the corner in the Crescent City.

Other than the all-out Fat Tuesday festivities one of New Orleans' most vibrant events is the Running of the Santa's held annually since 2011. This year's event is slated for Saturday, December 7th beginning at 3 pm at the 'South Pole', the Apres Lounge at 608 Fulton. At the Apres revelers enjoy holiday food and specialty drinks whether they're in Santa suits or not.

From there the noisy annual pilgrimage moves at 6 pm to the 'North Pole' five blocks away at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Dr. It's five blocks at a New Orleans pace so it takes about an hour and a half, especially considering some 3,000 or so costumed participants generally show up. But don't worry, with each step you may be closer to a life time memory of that 'time you were in New Orleans.'

The Running of The Santa's is a raucous social occasion that's more of an adult party than a kid-friendly event. It's one of the Top Fifty Events in which you can get the New Orleans vibe in a costumed setting, so remember some light adult street nudity or other activity might be seen. In general during New Orleans street parties, it's best not to look between or into parked cars on the street. One can never predict what others will do or show for a neckful of colorful low-cost plastic beads.

Photo: Running of the Santa's, Costume Run
Photo: Running of the Santa's, Costume Run


New Orleans’ most vibrant holiday tradition calls for “runners” from all over the Gulf Coast to don their most creative Christmas attire for a chance to win the treasured “Best Holiday Costume” award. The variety of costumes seen include Santa of course, Mrs. Claus, Scrooge, Rudolph, Jingle Bells, Jack Frost, The Grinch and Old Man Winter to name a few and of course there are naughty and nice categories for men and women.

The south's largest holiday costume contest, takes place at 8 pm and that's when the real New Orleans style fun begins. The much-anticipated holiday costume contest always produces some of the most outlandish Christmastime outfits in town, yes, even outlandish by New Orleans standards. The contest takes place on the main stage at Generations Hall and is judged by local media celebrities who sometimes get mixed up in the on-stage hi-jinks.

All the fun is for a good cause, a portion of the proceeds will benefit That Others May Live Foundation. The foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2002. The foundation provides scholarships, family counseling, and aid to surviving children of United States Air Force (USAF) Rescue Heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice during a rescue mission. The goal of the program is to ensure that every child of a fallen personnel recovery service member receives an opportunity for success.

Get a little New Orleans taste of Christmas, it's an easy road trip and a selfie-worthy adventure. To get more information about participating in the Run or advance tickets, click here.

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