There’s a new Santa in town for city dash

Liverpool sees the return of the world-famous Santa Dash in less than three weeks – the pop-up shop is open and there’s even a new Santa in town.

The festive spectacular returns in real-life for its 18th consecutive event on the first Sunday of December – and it is thought to be the UK’s biggest festive 5K fun run.

The Appreciate Group Liverpool Santa Dash is on Sunday 5 December, starting at 9.30am from Pier Head Liverpool on the city’s iconic waterfront.

Anticipation and excitement are steadily mounting for the event return after it was staged virtually last year due to COVID-19 guidelines.

Participants are now counting down the days until they can once again transform the city into a sea of dashing Santas. More than 3,000 people have already registered to take part.

The 5K route takes Santas through the Grade I Listed Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, through the city centre, before a grandstand finish outside Liverpool Town Hall featuring stilt walking festive characters and ‘real’ snow.

Dashing Santas are being encouraged to walk, jog or run to raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Charity – the event’s official charity partner for 2021.

The Santa Dash pop-up shop is now open seven days a week until Saturday 4 December at St Johns Shopping Centre, located on the upper level near the Matalan bridge.

The shop is open for in-person registration, as well as Santa suit collection for anyone who has registered online. Opening days and times are Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm, and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

Neil Ashcroft, Manager of St Johns Shopping Centre, commented, “You definitely know Christmas is on the way when the Santa Dash pop-up shop opens, it’s the real start to all things festive in the city. It’s fantastic to welcome the Santa Dash team back to St Johns Shopping Centre for the fifth year of festive fun. I’ll be taking part once again with a team from St Johns and we cannot wait – see you on the start line.”

Liverpool-based gifting company, Appreciate Group, is this year’s headline partner – and are introducing a bright new Santa to the colourful event.

Appreciate Group have been based in the region for more than 50 years and are home to many of the nation’s most loved gifting and reward products including Love2shop,, and Park Christmas Savings.

Andy Hammerton, Head of Corporate Affairs at Appreciate Group, explained, “There’s nothing quite like the iconic Liverpool Santa Dash and the sight of thousands of blue and red Santas streaming through the city. This year will see a new Santa in town – in the shade of Appreciate Group yellow. It promises to be a joyful event.”

Official charity partner Alder Hey Children’s Charity recently launched its new £2.5million Surgical Neonatal Appeal to help develop a state-of-the-art unit for newborn babies and their families.

Liverpool Santa Dash is an accessible event open to everyone – wheelchair participants, walkers, joggers, runners, families, friends, colleagues, tiny Santas in prams, and even four-legged furry Santas.

Created by BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell, the Liverpool Santa Dash was first staged in 2004. A separate 1K Mini Dash for under 12s was added in 2007, and blue Santa suits were introduced three years later.

BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region.

The registration fee covers all costs to organise and deliver the event including road closures, safety measures, Santa suits, medals, goody bags, and entertainment.

Any COVID-19 guidelines required at the time of the event will be followed.

For full details and online entry visit

Image: Yellow suit – Andy Hammerton, Head of Corporate Affairs at Appreciate Group, Red suit – Neil Ashcroft, Manager of St Johns Shopping Centre, Blue suit – Alan Rothwell, BTR Liverpool Race Director

Image credit: Erica Dillon/BTR Liverpool

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