The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash pop-up shop in St Johns Shopping Centre has opened, ready for thousands of Santas ahead of the big day.
This year’s event will take place on Sunday, December 3, 2023, and will be the 20th staging of the holiday spectacular.
Councillor Mary Rasmussen, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, officially opened the pop-up shop and met the team behind the festive spectacular.
More than 3,000 daring Santas have already registered, and organisers hope to outnumber last year’s total of 5,500 to mark the special celebratory year.
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell created the event, which is widely regarded as the city’s kick-off to Christmas.
The first Liverpool Santa Dash was held in 2004, and it is now regarded as the UK’s largest festive 5K fun run.
The festival has evolved over the last two decades. A 1K Mini Dash for children aged 12 and under was added to the day in 2007, and blue Santa suits were introduced in 2010 due to popular demand. After the Churchill Flyover in Liverpool city centre was demolished in 2018, the 5K route was altered to include Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool met BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell, Adam Dixon and Oli the mascot from official event charity partner Alder Hey Children’s Charity, and Neil Ashcroft, Director of St Johns Shopping Centre, an event partner, during her visit.
The Lord Mayor had a good time chatting with the team and was excited to try on this year’s commemorative Santa Dash medals alongside her Mayoral chains.
The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash pop-up shop is now open seven days a week until December 2nd. Blue Santa suits are already in short supply.
The store is on the lower level of St Johns Shopping Centre, close to the Matalan bridge and Post Office. Monday through Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm, and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
Santas can sign up in the shop and get everything they need, including a race number, Santa suit, medal wristband, and goody bag.
Those who register online must also pick up their Santa suits from the shop. They will receive their run number along with a Santa suit collection card in the mail. They must present the card to the shop in order to exchange it for the suit and receive the medal wristband, which must be worn on event day.
BTR Liverpool has released a range of fun slogan red and blue Santa Dash T-shirts and hoodies as part of the event’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
The T-shirts are made of technical material, which runners prefer. Wild Thang, a Liverpool-based merchandise company, created the collection. They can be purchased in-store or online at the BTR Liverpool website.
Neil Ashcroft, Director of St Johns Shopping Centre, said:
“It is fantastic to welcome the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash to St Johns Shopping Centre for the seventh consecutive year – and experience all the fun it brings.
“Our Christmas lights go live this week so the Santas can enjoy the sights as they make their way through the centre to collect their Santa suits. We cannot wait to join in with this year’s landmark celebrations.”
The official event Charity Partner for the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 2023 is Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Santas can help the charity by raising funds or making a one-time donation.
The funds raised by Alder Hey will be used to support its mission of transforming young lives through cutting-edge equipment, facilities, and groundbreaking medical research.
People can dash and fundraise for Alder Hey by visiting the website here.
Santa Dash participants or supporters can also make a one-off donation to Alder Hey here.
The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash will take place on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 9.30 a.m.
The 5K route begins at Pier Head Liverpool and winds through the Grade I Listed Royal Albert Dock Liverpool estate before reaching a grandstand finish line with stilt-walking festive characters and’real’ snow outside Liverpool Town Hall.
The 1K Mini Dash is designed for children aged 12 and under. It begins around 11 a.m. in Castle Street, after all Santas in the main dash have completed the course. The youngsters run through the city centre before finishing in front of Liverpool Town Hall.
Participants in the Santa Dash and Mini Dash will be greeted by the sights and sounds of Liverpool drumming band Katumba as they pass Moorfields Train Station on Dale Street.
BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell added:
“For 20 years, the people of Liverpool and visitors have embraced the fun, warmth, and pure joy of the Liverpool Santa Dash.
“It really is an event like no other. It just has to be seen first-hand to be believed. The sea of red, blue, and mini Santas is simply incredible. Join us for this special celebratory year – let’s make it one to remember.”
Radio City is the Official Event Media Partner for the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 2023. Leanne and Scott from the Radio City Breakfast Show are already throwing themselves into the fun.
Leanne has confirmed she will be taking part on the day and is now inviting Radio City listeners to join her on the day, by registering here.
For the sixth year, Arriva North West is providing free bus travel across Merseyside on Santa Dash day.
Santas must wear their Santa suit and race number in the morning, or their Santa suit and finishers’ medal in the evening, to qualify for free bus transportation to and from the city centre. There is no time limit for travel following the event.
BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation in the Liverpool City Region for creating, managing, and delivering high-profile events. Its extensive portfolio spans various distances and terrains, all while remaining committed to sustainability.
The BTR Tour of Merseyside, the BTR Liverpool Half Marathon, and the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K are also on the BTR event calendar.
The entry fee for the Liverpool Santa Dash covers all costs associated with organising and delivering the event, including road closures, safety measures, Santa suits, medals, goody bags, and entertainment.
Entries are open online here.