Hundreds of Santas are set to descend upon a South Tyneside pub this weekend as part of the annual ‘Supa Santa Sunda’ charity event.
The event, organised by a group of friends known as the ‘Benidorm Boys’, has been held at The Fountain Inn, Highfield Road, South Shields, for around eight years.
This year’s event will be held on Sunday from noon.
Colin Oakley, one of the organisers, said the event has grown from just a group of his friends dressed as Santa to about 200 Santas descending on the pub in the last year.
“It started around seven or eight years ago when a group of us were in The Fountain on a Sunday afternoon for a drink and, because they do food and it was Christmas, we thought we would have a Christmas dinner,” the 56-year-old father-of-two said.
“I suggested that we put Santa suits on and, the following year, we decided to all chip in and put a band on to play while we had our dinner.
“There were a lot of people in the pub, so the manager Bob Teasdale said next year he would put it on.
He added: “This year, the band is Bessie and the Zinc Buckets. They are a local band and have quite a big following. It has grown over the years from having Christmas dinner to over 200 Santas.”
The event is not ticketed but aims to raise money for charities through a raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses, and fundraising games.
Last year, the event raised around £1,600 for charity Nathan’s Needs to help a youngster suffering from cerbral palsy.
This year, the chosen charity is to raise funds to adapt the home of South Tyneside youngster Jack Smith, five, who suffers from cerbral palsy and learning difficulties.
Santas travel from all over the country and as far as Holland to take part.
Christmas dinners will be served throughout the day and there will also be a caravan in the car park called Flaming Grill Van selling food.
To donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/jacksmith