Santas cut a dash for Leighton’s fun event

If you’re children are transfixed by a visit to see Santa in his grotto, just imagine their reaction to a street full of Father Christmases!

On Saturday (November 28), KidsOut will once again hold its annual Santa Dash to raise money for disadvantaged children.

Starting at 11 am in Leighton Buzzard’s Church Square, the 2.5-mile circuit will pass through Parsons Close Recreation Ground, over to Grovebury Road, and finish once again in Church Square, where participants can join KidsOut for post-run mince pies and mulled wine.

Organised by the Leighton Fun Runners, the event is open to all ages and abilities, costing a minimum £5 donation to enter and additional £5 to purchase a Santa suit.

“Last year there were a lot of people who simply walked it together,” said Sioned Parish-James, KidsOut children’s services coordinator, who participated in the run in 2013 with her dog and friend’s five-year-old daughter.

“Everyone pretty much dresses up: babies, dogs, children, and the elderly. We’ve even had Andrew Selous (MP for South West Bedfordshire) participate.”

Typically held the last Saturday of November, the Santa Dash is a fixture of the Leighton Buzzard Christmas Festival weekend.

“It’s great to see so many Santas, you really feel as though Christmas has arrived in Leighton Buzzard,” added Sioned. “Everyone is so friendly and lots of people come to watch and cheer. It brings people together.”

The event accompanies the weekend’s Fun Fair, Santa’s Grotto and normal Saturday market, and will include competitions for best-dressed person and dog. Medals are awarded to all finishers, and all proceeds will go directly to providing fun opportunities for disadvantaged children.

“We had 180 people participate last year and are aiming for 200 this year,” said Stewart Moulds, head of fundraising. “We hope to raise £1,500 for our children’s services, which is quite a high goal.”

The only national charity based in Leighton Buzzard, KidsOut is celebrating its 25th anniversary year, aiming to extend its services to 50,000 children this year alone.

KidsOut invites everyone to don a Santa suit and participate in the Santa Dash. For more information or to reserve your space, call 01525 243215 or email info@kidsout.org.uk.