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Santa Claus WAS in Town! (Town Square that is…)

December 13, 2010

Looking at Town Square from the freeway, the sight appeared monotonous.  However, I already knew that wasn’t the case.  As my son, two friends who made the trek from California and I pulled into the parking lot, we saw a family, all of which were dressed as Santa Claus.  I turned around and saw another family, this one with a dog, all of whom were also dressed as Santa Claus.  We got out of our vehicle and raced to the congregation area to check in and retrieve our own Santa Claus costumes.  Ah, The Great Las Vegas Santa Run had finally arrived!

The Great Las Vegas Santa Run is an annual event hosted by Opportunity Village.  The event is simple.  You can either participate in a 5K run or a 1-mile walk.  Nothing strenuous, just a fun run.  Local bands entertained the crowd and Mayor Goodman offered words of praise to the organization and words of encouragement to the participants.  The Fox 5 News team was present to air from the event and kick the run itself off.

We chose to partake in the 5K course.  The course was simple; three 1-mile loops around Town Square wearing a Santa Claus costume.  As an added bonus, participants have the opportunity to register with the Guinness Book of World Records in an attempt to dethrone the Irish for the “largest gathering of Santa Claus” held since 2007.  Our Santa’s came in all sizes from adults to infant children.  The courses are also easy enough for children to be pushed along in strollers throughout the course.

Overall, the event was a great one.  Simply put, it’s a gathering of individuals in a fun, festive environment who are dedicated to helping change the lives of Opportunity Village’s clients.  The primary idea behind the event is to raise money and awareness for the programs offered by the not-for-profit organization.  Opportunity Village focuses their efforts on those with intellectual disabilities.  They provide vocational rehabilitation, social events, and employment services for thousands of clients annually while fulfilling the clients’ sense of belonging within the greater community.

~ Jason

If you’re interested in volunteering with Opportunity Village click HERE for a list of their available opportunities.

Also don’t miss out on Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest:

The Magical Forest is celebrating its 19th year of providing holiday joy to the Las Vegas community. More than 150,000 people visit the Forest every year, basking in the glow of more than three million lights on hundreds of decorated trees, riding the Forest Express passenger train, taking a spin on the Carousel and visiting with the Man in Red himself.

Click HERE for more details, directions and to see some pictures.  Bring your family and friends and check out this annual tradition.

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