Looking for Santa? Head north.
During Maine ski resort Sunday River’s 18th Annual Santa Sunday this weekend, 250 Santas will simultaneously ski and snowboard down the mountain to raise money for the Sunday River Community Fund, which benefits local charities. Last’s year’s event raised more than $3,000, said Darcy Lambert, director of communications for Sunday River.
Though the resort is no longer seeking Santa skiers — the 250 spots typically fill within five to 10 minutes after online registration opens, Lambert said — there’s plenty of room for spectators. The resort is expecting thousands to watch as the red-suited skiers make their picture-perfect run, she said.
The bearded participants will ride the South Ridge Express to the top of the mountain at 11 a.m. Spectators will want to stake out their viewing spot at the base by around 11 a.m., as well, Lambert said. The sea of Santas will ski or snowboard down the Broadway Trail in the South Ridge area of the mountain, which is closed to the public during the event. Once the Santas make it down the mountain, the trail will open back up to the public.
The Santas range from children to grandparents, Lambert said. Sometimes generations of families register together.
“We certainly have Santas who have done it for 18 years,” Lambert said.
Participating Santas ski for free on Santa Sunday and receive a lift ticket good for a future day of skiing. Each Santa agrees to donate at least $15 to the fund and wear a traditional Santa suit: a red Santa hat with a white pompom, a red Santa jacket, red Santa pants, and a Santa beard.